There are a ton of New Orleans Saints fans in Houston, and the number grew after Katrina rocked Louisiana.
They call themselves "Hou-Dats," and they are making big plans for Sunday. The two biggest HQs in town for Saints fans: the Ragin' Cajun on Richmond and the Big Woodrow's on Chimney Rock. Both places will be not-so-mini Mardi Gras parties on Sunday, with beads, beer and black-and-gold shirts that might get lifted for a flash if Reggie Bush takes it in from 40 yards out. (Actually, we're guessing there won't be too much flashing, but hope never dies.)
It turns out, though, that a lot of Hou-Dats are planning to travel to the game. Not to Miami, where it's being held, but to New Orleans, where it will be intense.
Especially in the French Quarter.
According to the Associated Press:
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"We're gearing up for Sunday just like Mardi Gras day," said Earl Bernhardt, a bar owner in the French Quarter. "We're staffing just like we do for Mardi Gras, and if the Saints win, we won't close at all. We'll stay open as long as people are standing."
And on the blackandgold.com message boards, fans are announcing their intent to get to the city that we hear is sometimes referred to in the media as the Big Easy.
The Saints aren't expected to win, of course: They are playing God, in the form of Peyton Manning, second only to Brett Favre in the NFL-expert list of deities.
But we all saw what happened to Favre this year. So it might be time to break out those beads and head for Richmond or Chimney Rock......