After spending a long weekend in New Orleans, I discovered firsthand the locals really love their food, their drink and, much to my delight, their seersucker (pre-Memorial Day, natch). But that town really, really loves its football team, the New Orleans Saints.
I know there are rabid football fan bases all across the country, including right here in Baltimore. But the connection feels deeper in New Orleans. A lot of it is because the team is forever intertwined with Hurricane Katrina, and some of it has to do with the team winning the Super Bowl in February. But I got the feeling that even if the fleur-de-lis was not named the state symbol two years ago, the Saints logo might still have been emblazoned on the side of every city trash can.
I bring this up to point out a class-action lawsuit set to be heard this week in U.S. District Court in New Orleans. More than 2,100 plaintiffs are suing a Chinese drywall manufacturer for product defects causing both structural damage and health problems. The lead plaintiff? Sean Payton, the Saints’ head coach.
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King noted the hearing yesterday in his Monday Morning Quarterback Column. “Heck of a choice for lead plaintiff,” King wrote under a “Home-Court Advantage Dept.” heading. “Sounds like kicking off in a football game with a 21-0 lead.”
To that, I would add: good luck, defense, finding impartial jurors. And I wish I had thought of a way to convince my editors I needed to cover the proceedings.