What’s in that gumbo bowl?

dip dip hooray! Our Top 10 tailgate approved recipes

No flag and we paid the penalty! We Were Robbed

O f f i c i a l s u p e r m a r k e t o f t h e n e w o r l e a n s s a i n t s

We know saving money is always first on your shopping list. We make it easy to save with store brands that are as good as national brands, and unique products developed in partnership with local producers.​ If our name is on it, you know it's good! Wake up and smell the savings


the game plan by Donny Rouse, CEO, 3 rd Generation

There’s no doubt about where the nation’s best college football is played — right here on the Gulf Coast. T he SEC is arguably the nation’s best college football conference, and I watch as many games as I can. In my family — same as yours, I bet — game days outrank all over events. You don’t dare plan a party, or even get married on a Saturday during football season, unless it’s a bye week. There’s always a lot of good-natured smack talk leading up to game day. Blockbuster games like LSU-Alabama (or Alabama-LSU) are built on smack talk, and the back and forth between our store directors and district managers in Louisiana and Alabama is always fun. I’m a fan of in-state competitions, too. They just mean a little more. The Alabama-Auburn matchup is one of the biggest rivalries in all of college football. But it’s not just the SEC that holds our attention and our hearts. If you follow college football you know Tim Rebowe, head coach at Nicholls State University in my hometown of Thibodaux. Rebowe led the Colonels to the FCS playoffs two years in a row. You don't really have a football game without a tailgate, and Thibodaux is quickly becoming one of the best tailgating cities in the South. Fans — including my own family — are out there every home game. My daughters always wear their cheerleading uniforms. We also tailgate before Saints games. I think the Mercedes- Benz Superdome is one of the best stadiums in the NFL because of its location. It’s walkable from the bars, restaurants, hotels and, of course, our Rouses Market on Girod and Baronne streets, which is right on the 50-yard line for all of the excitement. This is going to be a heck of a season. A lot of fans are still bitter about last season’s no-call. I’m looking forward to Miami. I enjoyed that Super Bowl in 2010, and I’m ready to watch us win there again!

photo: Channing Candies

Gameday Gratons (Cracklins) You need about 10 pounds of boneless pork belly, with the fat, meat and skin on, cut into 11/2-inch cubes, to make these gratons . I like to start them off in a little bit of water. Pour a little bit into a large, deep, black-iron pot. Add the pork. Stir constantly for two hours. Remove meat with a slotted spoon (reserve the grease) and drain on paper towels. Cool in the fridge for a couple of hours. When you’re ready to pop them, heat the pot over medium heat. When the grease gets to about 350 °F , add the pork belly. Stir every few minutes with a long-handled spoon. When the pork skins start to pop, remove them with a slotted spoon and drain them on Rouses brown paper bags. (Make sure you shake them around a little so they don’t stick.) Let these cracklins cool for about 15 minutes, then transfer them to a paper bag. Add some Creole seasoning and shake until well seasoned.

HOMEGATING I want the food almost ready at kickoff. When it’s cold outside, I’ll sometimes make gratons . I use my uncle Tim Acosta’s recipe for 3-2-1 ribs when I cook on the Big Green Egg. Get the recipe at TAILGATING A lot of people set up in one spot, but I like to walk around, especially when we have good weather.




Table of Contents cover photo by romney caruso

recipes 8

Bacon-Wrapped Boudin

29 50 61 Fire-Roasted Salsa Black Bean Dip

Dirty Bird Stuffed Chicken

In Every Issue 1

The Egg Bowl BY SARAH BAIRD college football 36 40 46 50 56 64 66 67 NCAA Conferences BY LUKE JOHNSON The Cajun Anthem BY MICHAEL TISSERAND R-E-S-P-E-C-T BY MICHAEL TISSERAND

All Aboard the Tailgate Train BY JUSTIN NYSTROM

Bloody Mary Deviled Eggs

Letter from Donny Rouse

The Long History of Tiger Stadium BY DAVID W. BROWN

4 5 6 7


The Greatest Rivalry in College Football BY CREG STEPHENSON

Letter from the Editor

Corn Macque Choux Dip Spicy Dill Dip Fresh Crab Dip

Letter from Ali Rouse Royster

Tim Rebowe is a Gamechanger BY LUKE JOHNSON

Roasted Beet Dip 62 63

In Our Stores

Hot Caprese Dip Buffalo Chicken Dip Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade

the saints 14 18 20 21

100 Years of Football BY DAVID W. BROWN

The Saints Go Marching In BY MARCY NATHAN

75 79 80

Breakfast Gumbo with Grits


Keto Questo Dip

our team 73 74


Fried Ribs with Buffaleaux Sauce

Third Generation BY DAVID W. BROWN

26 30

You're Bacon Me Hungry BY DAVID W. BROWN

drinks 49 51


75 79

Alabama Slammer

Nacho Average Produce Department BY SARAH BAIRD

Mississippi Planters Punch

HOW TO PREP: Place the Chex Mix in a bowl and set aside.

Root Beer Chex Mix (Makes 3 cups)

Combine the butter, brown sugar and root beer extract in a pan. Simmer until the brown sugar melts into the mixture. Toss the Chex Mix with the mixture until fully coated. Spread on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes, or until the Chex Mix is crispy and the butter and root beer mixture has baked into the Chex Mix. Remove the pan from the oven, and set aside to cool. After the mix has cooled, place in a bowl to serve — then go back again and again because it is addicting!

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 3 cups Original Chex Mix 8 ounces butter, unsalted cup light brown sugar 3 fluid ounces root beer extract





JUSTIN A. NYSTROM Justin A. Nystrom is the Peter J. Cangelosi/ BEGGARS Distinguished Professor of History at Loyola University New Orleans where he teaches American History, Foodways, and Oral History. He is the author of the James Beard nominated Creole Italian: Sicilian Immigrants and the Shaping of NewOrleans Food Culture and New Orleans after the Civil War: Race, Politics, and a New Birth of Freedom. PATTI STALLARD Patti is a freelance copy editor, proofreader and copywriter with decades of editorial experience in both the marketing and publishing arenas. A native New Orleanian and a culinary devotee, she was part of many creative teams that crafted ADDY award-winning campaigns for a variety of clients, including tourism, professional sports and higher education. CREG STEPHENSON Creg Stephenson has covered football for more than 25 years for a variety of publications in the Southeast. He lives in Theodore, Alabama (very near a Rouses Market, as a matter of fact), and writes for MICHAEL TISSERAND Michael Tisserand is a New Orleans-based author whose books include The Kingdom of Zydeco ; Krazy: George Herriman, A Life in Black and White ; and a post-Katrina memoir, Sugarcane Academy , about Tisserand and other parents persuading one of his children’s teachers, Paul Reynaud, to start a school among the sugarcane fields of New Iberia. Tisserand is a founding member of the Laissez Boys Social Aide and Leisure Club, a Mardi Gras parading organization.

“ We are big college football fans and like a lot of houses in the South our loyalties are divided between two schools. We are convinced that dressing our boys in team swag actually brings bad luck, so we have been known to dress the kids in the other team's colors for the rivalry game. People often misinterpret this as a generosity of spirit.” - JUSTIN NYSTROM “ Every game, I gorge myself with party food and drink heavily. It has a 50-50 success rate. This year I’ll try to drink harder.” - DAVID W. BROWN “ I watch football alone or in very small groups, the smaller the better (but ideally alone). And for God's sake, no kids running in front of the TV.” - CREG STEPHENSON watch the games that I sat through religiously, but at halftime of every game we had to go out to the yard and replay the first half with our own official NFL football (signed by Brett Favre). That seemed to do the trick during Green Bay's highly successful run in the 90s.” - LUKE JOHNSON “ I grew up in rural Wisconsin, where the Green Bay Packers reign supreme. My father would get too nervous to sit down and

SARAH BAIRD Sarah Baird is the author of the books New Orleans Cocktails and Short Stack Edition: Summer Squash . Her work appears regularly in/on Saveur , Eater , GQ , First We Feast , PUNCH and Food & Wine . She was the longtime food editor and restaurant critic for the New Orleans alt-weekly, Gambit Weekly . DAVID W. BROWN David is a regular contributor to The Atlantic , The Week and Mental Floss . His work also appears in Vox , The New York Times , Writer’s Digest and Foreign Policy magazine. He is a regular commentator for television and radio. CHANNING CANDIES Channing Candies, a photographer based ini Schriever, Louisiana, loves to travel, but says there's nothing like fishing and camping at home in South Louisiana. ROMNEY CARUSO Romney is a Mandeville resident and has been a professional photographer for over 25 years. He has styled and photographed food for hundreds of local and national publications, and for several cookbooks. His portrait series of chefs and bartenders, titled “Shakers, Knives & Irons,” was recently displayed in New Orleans and Los Angeles. LUKE JOHNSON USA Today Network reporter Luke Johnson covers the Saints (and other interesting things) for the USA Today network. He is a United States Marine Corps veteran.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: teaspoon onion powder teaspoon black pepper 4 tablespoons (2 packages) dry ranch dressing mix 1 tablespoons red pepper flakes 1 tablespoons Cajun seasoning 16-ounce package of Nabisco Premium Soup & Oyster Crackers 2 cups Rouses Extra Virgin Olive Oil

HOW TO PREP: Pour the olive oil, seasonings and spices into a large, gallon-size ziplock bag. Seal the bag and knead to thoroughly mix the ingredients together. Place all of the crackers in the bag and re-seal. Gently turn the bag over several times to coat the crackers with the spice mixture. Let the bag sit overnight. Remove crackers from the bag and lay them out on a sheet pan. Bake at 250°F for 15 minutes.

Cajun Crackers (Makes 2 cups)



Letter from the Editor by Marcy Nathan, Creative Director

You don’t have to be a Manning, or go to school with one, to appreciate high school football. If pro football is a game measured in wins and losses, high school football is one measured in moments and memories. In high school, you’re playing alongside or cheering for the classmates you’ve grown up with. These are your friends. It’s your school. In New Orleans, when people ask me where I went to school, they don’t mean college or graduate, they mean high school . Here, high school is forever. Cooper’s son Arch — named for his grandpa Archie — is a freshman this fall and starting at quarterback. No pressure there. Every Newman alum, never mind every SEC recruiter, has their eyes on Arch.

Football is one of many things that still make me proud of Newman, even after I’ve long stopped going to — and cheering at — the games. I was a cheerleader, and my high school sweetheart was a football player. Being a high school cheerleader, like being a high school football player, is something you never forget. My favorite cheer involved pork chops...pork chops... I was clearly destined to work for Rouses.

Every school has its own lineup of legendary athletes; the ones whose trophies and helmets are displayed in glass cases near the gym, and whose jerseys have been retired. My school’s famed players happen to be named Manning. And Beckham (Odell, not David). The Manning legacy at Isidore Newman in New Orleans began nearly 30 years ago with Cooper, the oldest of Archie and Olivia Manning’s three sons, playing wide receiver for the Greenies. Cooper put up school-record numbers under Coach Tony Reginelli, who also taught Driver’s Ed, and who made me drive across the old Huey P. Long Bridge for the first — and last — time in my life. Cooper signed with Ole Miss on a football scholarship, Archie’s alma mater, but was sidelined by a diagnosis of spinal stenosis before his first game. Younger brother Peyton was named starting quarterback when he was just a sophomore. That year he played alongside Cooper, then a senior, and took the team to the state semifinals. Peyton led the Greenies to a 34-5 record during three seasons at quarterback. He was the number-one recruited high school quarterback in the nation, and the first overall pick in the 1998 draft. Younger brother Eli was equally talented. He was recruited to Ole Miss and chosen first overall in the 2004 NFL draft. Peyton and Eli are both two-time Super Bowl champions. No doubt, their photos will hang in the NFL Hall of Fame. But for Isidore Newman alumni, Peyton, Eli and Cooper will always be Greenies. Polaroids from their Newman days are tacked on our local Wall of Fame at Domilise’s, the classic po-boy joint serving fried shrimp with cheddar and roast beef gravy.

I never was one for college football — other than the tailgating, of course — but my alma maters (Vanderbilt and Tulane) weren’t exactly known for football in those days. So I graduated from high


school football straight to the Saints. I love the Saints like few others things. I bleed black and gold. I was there at the Dome opener in 2006. I helped plan the Buddy D. Parade in 2010. Like most on the Gulf Coast, I boycotted the Super Bowl earlier this year in solidarity with the team and other fans. Yes, I’m still bitter. When the Saints aren’t playing, I pull for Eli’s team, the Giants. And Odell is on my fantasy team. ESPN says the real action is over at Isidore Newman, where the next great NFL quarterback named Manning is already turning heads.

“ I wear the same shirt to every game — until it stops working. Then I change outfits. Donny Rouse asked me if I wash the shirt between games. Uh, no, that would wash off the juju! My sister Courtney won’t buy a jersey because she thinks it’s a jinx on the player. She says you can thank her for Brees, Kamara and Morstead later.” - MARCY NATHAN ; MY SAINTS SUPERSTITION





Our signature line of Rouses Markets deli meats are made with whole cuts of turkey, ham and roast beef that are wood smoked and oven roasted. We also offer premium, store-roasted meats and poultry. Sliced to order in our deli.

the playoffs by Ali Rouse Royster, 3rd Generation You’ve heard countless jokes about not getting married during hunting or college football season (check LSU’s schedule for homecoming; you’ll probably get a few wedding invitations for that Saturday!), or you’ve seen a meme about a bunch of groomsmen (and a sprinkling of bridesmaids) hovered around a TV during a wedding reception. But Saturday, January 16th would seems like a pretty safe date to plan a wedding, don’t you think? And usually, it would be a fine date to plan a wedding in South Louisiana. It likely wouldn’t be too cold, it most definitely would not be scorching hot, and you’d be quite a few weeks removed from the holidays at that point. Unless , like my sister and brother-in-law, your wedding is in 2010; and the Saints have just had their first 13-win regular season, are the top seed in the NFC, have had a bye week for the first round in the playoffs, and are set to host the Cardinals in the NFC divisional round — well then , your wedding date would become quite the talk of your longtime-season- ticket-holder family! When your January 16th wedding is in 2010, your bridesmaids get ready at your mom and dad’s house, with the TV tuned in to football and all eyes glued to the set. And you know your family really loves you because those season ticket seats are being occupied by other people, not them for once. You are super-excited that the game is not even close — not only because that means we’ll have the NFC Championship game next week (and Super Bowl XLIV a few weeks after that!!...I’m getting ahead of myself here), but also because it’s more likely that your wedding guests will arrive on time. Approximately one-third of your wedding guests come dressed in black & gold and ready to second line, and the band is more than ready to accommodate! Now that it’s all said and done, I can tell you it was a beautiful wedding, celebrating one of my most favorite couples, sweetened with a dash of celebrating my most favorite pro football team, which was the icing on the wedding cake!


As the Gulf Coast’s grocer, and avid fishers ourselves, we feel a particular commitment to preserve and protect our seafood industry, which plays such an important role in our culture and economy. Most of our seafood comes from local fishermen with whom we have close personal and professional relationships. But our commitment doesn’t end at our coast. We’re mindful of how all of our seafood is caught and farmed. PRIVATE LABEL PRODUCTS We know saving money is always first on your shopping list. We make it easy to save with store brands that are as good as national brands, and unique products developed in partnership with local producers. If Rouses Markets is on the label, you know it’s good! HELPING THE GULF COAST GROW J.P. Rouse founded the City Produce Company in 1923, bringing fruits and vegetables from local, independent farms to the rest of the state and eventually to stores around the country. When his son, Anthony J. Rouse, Sr., opened his first grocery store in 1960, he made supporting his farmer neighbors a priority. Generations later we are more committed than ever to our local farmers and to bringing you the very best this region has to offer. LOCAL FLAVOR Look for 180° Cajun Blendz & Seasonings from New Iberia, Louisiana, on our shelves now. These seasonings and rubs are made with the freshest ingredients so they truly enhance the flavor of anything you are cooking, whether it’s one of our hand-cut steaks or pork chops, or our own Rouses Markets brand chicken.



In Our Stores

PRIVATE LABEL PRODUCTS If Rouses Markets is on the label, you know it’s good. We have close relationships with the dairies that bottle our milk, bakeries that make our sandwich bread, and manufacturers who package our products. Every Rouses Markets private label food item has been personally tasted by the Rouse Family and is guaranteed to deliver the best quality at the best price. FRESH FLOWER SHOP Our licensed floral directors are as picky about the flowers we sell as our chefs are about the ingredients that go into the foods we make. Visit to order flowers for delivery within specified areas. SOUP & SALAD BARS Our make-your-own salad bars feature an ever- changing selection of prepared salads and fresh- cut vegetables and fruits. Our hot soup menu changes daily, though you’ll always find our famous gumbo — it’s a favorite year-round. CAKES & DESSERTS There are as many reasons to order our cakes and cupcakes as there are ways to customize them. If you’d like to place a special order for a cake or dessert, stop by or call your neighborhood Rouses Market. For locations visit DIGITAL COUPONS Get offers online at and redeem directly in your local Rouses store with no need to download yet another mobile app.

CHEESE & CHARCUTERIE Our cheesemonger is an American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional, a title that requires passing a master exam covering everything from dairy regions to cheese making, ripening, storage and serving. Get his tips about cheese and how to build the perfect cheese board at EAT RIGHT WITH ROUSES Imagine having your own personal dietitian with you when you shop. Our Rouses registered dietitian, April Sins, has handpicked more than 500 grocery items that have lower sodium and saturated fat, healthier fats, more fiber and less sugar. Just look for the Eat Right logo on the shelf tag or package. WINE, SPIRITS & BEER We offer wines and spirits at every price point and have experts on the floor to answer questions and offer pairing suggestions. Our craft beer selection includes cans, bottles and kegs from all over the Gulf Coast. PREPARED FOODS You’ll always find something hot and delicious on our line. Depending on your location, you might find barbecue, pizzas, burritos or a Mongolian grill. All of our stores feature grab-and-go meals, including $5 daily deals, fresh sandwiches and salads, and heat-and-eat dinners. KICKIN’ CHICKEN From our crispy double-battered chicken tenders, breasts, thighs and legs, to our bone-in wings tossed with sauce, we guarantee the best-tasting chicken on the Gulf Coast!


Get $ 10 off your first order. Use code ROUSES19 Use promo code ROUSES19 for $10 off of $35+ on your first Instacart Delivery or Pickup order. Pickup available only in select locations. Exp. 12/31/19

Shake Ya


Our pork-and-rice boudin is a Rouse Family Recipe that goes back three Louisiana generations. We also have new spins on the Cajun classic, including cauliflower boudin and a Pepper Jack version.

And our boudin balls are made fresh and sold fresh in our Butcher Shop – they’re perfect for tailgates.

You can’t fake Cajun!

Bacon-Wrapped Boudin WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 24 pieces Rouses Pecan Smoked Sliced Bacon 12 Rouses Boudin links

HOW TO PREP: Crosshatch 2 pieces of bacon around each boudin link. Grill over indirect heat at 400 degrees until bacon and boudin are both crispy, about 30-45 minutes. Rouses Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Peppers are stuffed with Rouses Green Onion Sausage and cream cheese. You can cook them the same way.

JULY•AUGUST 2019 photo: Romney Caruso





Mission has gone soft. Super soft. That’s good news for tortilla lovers, since you can now try all your favorite recipes with our new super soft flour tortillas. Of course, you’ll still get the Mission tortilla taste you love, with 0 grams trans fat per serving.



Reproduction, alteration, transfer or sale of this coupon or its contents is prohibited and is a criminal offense. MANUFACTURER’S COUPON EXPIRES: 10/31/19

SAVE $ 1 .00 on any TWO (2) NABISCO Cookies or Crackers (3.5 oz. or larger, any variety) RETAILER: Mondelēz Global LLC or a subsidiary, will reimburse the face value of this coupon plus handling if submitted in compliance with its Coupon Redemption Policy, previously provided to you and available upon request. Cash value 1/100¢. Coupon can only be distributed by Mondelēz Global LLC or its agent. Mail to: Mondelēz Global, LLC 1538, NCH Marketing Services, P.O. Box 880001, El Paso, TX 88588-0001. Offer expires: 10/31/19. CONSUMER: One coupon valid for item(s) indicated. Any other use constitutes fraud. VOID IF COPIED, TRANSFERRED, PURCHASED OR SOLD. Valid only in the USA, FPOs and APOs. © Mondelēz International group

© Mondelēz International group NCAA and NCAA Football are registered trademarks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

All Snack-Related Trademarks are owned by Frito-Lay North America © 2019




DATE: 08/6/18



AD: Melissa CS: Catherine PM: Matt STUDIO: Beth

BLEED: N/A TRIM: 7.625" X 4.825" LIVE: 7.375" X 4.575" FILE NAME: TYSN_SM_1828973_HFLNK_Rouses_Saints_Sponsorship_FY19_M


100 years of football by david w. brown

This year marks the 100th season of the National Football League — despite deserving to have been smitten from the Earth after its 99th, when referees blew the most obvious pass interference call in the history of the sport, if not the history of eyesight , during the NFC championship game between the New Orleans Saints and the usurper Los Angeles Rams.



GOING PRO The first few years of the NFL were spent in survival mode. No one had any idea how to make this thing work aside from, “Let’s play some football!” There was almost nothing national about the National Football League; it was made up mostly of teams in the Mid- west, New York and Pennsylvania, and for 20 years, teams formed and folded like clockwork. There were no champion teams because there were no championship games. “League reps would get together the first of the year after a season and vote on who should be number one,” says Weathersby, “much like the way they used to do college football polls.” To get things moving forward, the league cut away the weaker, less financially sound teams, and stabilized at 12. In 1925, the Chicago Bears signed a top-ranked college player named Red Grange and, suddenly, the media took notice of this “pro football” experiment. Grange was just an unbelievably popular player, and that Thanksgiving, he played his first game with the Bears at Wrigley Field versus the Chicago Cardinals, a crosstown team. Thirty-six thousand fans attended — the largest in NFL history at that time — and though the game ended 0-0, the league was suddenly on the map. The following month, Grange’s presence on the field saved a team called the New York Giants, which was tottering on bankruptcy until he came along, bringing 73,000 fans with him. (This time the Bears won.) Things really picked up speed in the 1930s, which saw the first championship game (Bears vs. Giants in 1933), the first draft (1936) and the first locally televised game (Brooklyn Dodgers vs. the Phila- delphia Eagles in 1939 on NBC). World War II killed the league’s momentum, but when soldiers returned from Europe and Japan, the NFL went mainstream. The Cleveland Rams moved to Los Angeles, San Francisco got a team (the 49ers), Cleveland got yet another team (the Browns), and Baltimore got the Colts. Meanwhile, the rules of the sport were changed to facilitate faster-paced, higher- scoring games. (The T formation was a big part of this.) Audiences and thus revenue exploded, and fans started turning their attention from college ball to the pros. THE GREATEST GAME EVER PLAYED Perhaps the seminal event in NFL history occurred in 1958, when the Baltimore Colts played the New York Giants in a championship game. It was the first championship game to be nationally televised, and it went into overtime, with the Colts prevailing in sudden death, 23-17. That audience and the watercooler conversation to follow ignited an interest that resulted in professional football overtaking baseball and college football in popularity by the mid ’60s. During this time, the league cashed in on its newfound popularity by managing the licensing of team logos for merchandise. This soon blossomed into a billion-dollar business, and finally put money in the pockets of team owners, who, for most of the NFL’s history, never turned much of a profit. In 1966, the NFL merged with a rival professional football organi- zation, the American Football League. The merger would take four years to complete, and in the interim, league owners decided to hold an annual championship game between the top AFL team and the top NFL team. The first such head-to-head was held in 1967, and was called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game. The Green Bay Packers played the Kansas City Chiefs. By 1969, this contest would be renamed the Super Bowl. (The 1967 contest was retroac- tively named Super Bowl I.)

A hundred years is a lot of ground to cover, especially for football, which has one of the richest and most dynamic histories of any sport played in America today. To learn more about the first century of the premier professional football league, I reached out to JimWeathersby, the prolific author behind the website The Sports Historian (, which chronicles every sport you’ve ever heard of, from 19th-century golf to today’s Little League. He certainly lived up to his reputation during our hour-long conversation. Professional football existed as a small, regional activity as early as the 1890s, he says, and grew out of college football. “College was king,” says Weathersby, and after players graduated, profes- sional football was a good way to make a little extra money. The sport was limited to regional teams, with its strongest presence in Ohio. The Canton Bulldogs and the Massillon Tigers were early pre-NFL rival football teams; their fans were devoted and their players were serious about the sport. In those days, players wore virtually no padding, and are best recognized today by the now seemingly strange leather helmets seen in old films and photographs. Still, if you were to build a time machine and use it to watch these first professional football games, you would certainly recognize the game being played. (The same isn’t true, however, for the earliest college football games in the late 1860s and ’70s. Football was then still in its infancy, and college athletes in the Northeast played something more akin to rugby or soccer. The actual football looked a lot like a soccer ball or volleyball.) THE FATHER OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL Football as we know it was devised by a man named Walter Camp. A Yale player and then coach, Camp (while serving on rules com- mittees for the nascent American sport) devised such things as the line of scrimmage, the snap, the safety and the offensive lineup still used today. He was a man of seemingly boundless energy, writing hundreds of stories about football for the top magazines in America, to say nothing of the 30 books he authored. Today he is recognized as the Father of American Football. “By 1930, the game had evolved to what we see today,” says Weathersby. “You didn’t have the protection with the massive pads and the facemask — the equipment and the uniforms still had a ways to go — but the actual football itself was certainly oblong, and the game fairly close to what would be played even in the 21st century.” Throughout the 1930s, running plays were the order of the day. What might startle you most about the early days of professional football are the players themselves. The speed and size of the professional football player pre-World War II are unrecognizable when compared to the gladiators on the field today. “With these guys, the linemen might be 180 pounds,” Weathersby explains. “If you’re lucky, he’s 200 pounds.” In comparison, linemen today are well over 300 pounds. Without modern equipment, it could get ugly out there. “Football was a vicious, tough game.” Just after World War I, it occurred to those Ohio teams that it was time to get organized and solve three major issues plaguing the sport: player salaries, players moving from one team to the next as they chased the highest offer, and teams snagging players away from colleges. The year was 1920, and the solution they came up with was to form a league. They first called it the American Profes- sional Football Conference. One month later, they changed that to the American Professional Football Association. And then in 1922, they rebranded one last time, and they became the National Football League.




Sack This term is credited to one of the most fearsome pass rushers of all time, Hall of Famer Deacon Jones, who made his indelible stamp on the game terrorizing

say what?! You know all the terms, but do you know their origins? Football language is fully ingrained in our daily vocabulary, and there are stories behind the verbiage. Sometimes they’re literal (you can probably figure out Pigskin), sometimes they’re borrowed, and sometimes they are the product of divine inspiration. Here are seven points, what most people would refer to as a …

by luke johnson

quarterbacks in the 1960s for the Los Angeles Rams. And terror is exactly the kind of vibe he was looking for. The term sack is not meant to represent a bag, but is to recall the image of a conqueror sacking a city. Sacks became an official NFL statistic in 1982, eight years after Jones’ retirement.

Touchdown While this is now synonymous with scoring plays in American football, the term initially came from rugby to describe when the ball literally touched down on the other side of the goal. In fact, in American football’s earliest form,

Hail Mary The Hail Mary pass — a desperate

heave toward the end zone, often from midfield or further, at the end of a half — has its professional roots with the Dallas Cowboys and quarterback Roger

Staubach. After his toss that beat the Minnesota Vikings in the 1975 playoffs, Staubach, a Catholic, said, “I closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary.” But the spirit of the term really started at Notre Dame in the 1930s, where players used it to describe plays with a low probability of success.

players who crossed the goal line had to touch the ball down on the ground in order for the points to count. That rule was amended quickly, allowing for today’s players to commence their celebration as soon as they cross the goal line.

Once the merger was complete, the NFL reorganized slightly, adding teams, and rebalancing and renaming its two erstwhile rivals — now as the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference. They would also keep the Super Bowl tradition alive. In 1970, Monday Night Football premiered on ABC, bringing in an entirely new audience with such technological innovations as slow motion and multiple camera angles, as well as celebrity guest stars and a lively trio of commentators: Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell and Don Meredith. In case you are wondering, the New Orleans Saints joined the NFL in 1966; they played in Tulane Stadium and spent 40 years being beaten pretty soundly, with the occasional punctuation of a winning season. In 2009, however, football would be changed evermore for the better, when Drew Brees led the team to victory in Super Bowl XLIV. I pause here to note that, 10 years later, that felony failure to throw a flag on the Rams in the NFC champion- ship game was the second instance in the same game (indeed, the same quarter ) in which refs magically missed a pass interference call against the Rams (indeed, again, against Robey-Coleman). The restraint exhibited by the ghost of Tom Benson during both calls was

impressive enough; a lesser spirit would have reached a phantom arm from the field below and pulled the referees one by one beneath the Superdome and deep into the belly of the Earth. THE FUTURE OF FOOTBALL If the first 100 years were about assembling a professional football league and setting it on sound financial footing, the next 20 years will likely be devoted to solving the problem of traumatic brain injury inflicted upon the game’s players. Football is a thrilling, violent sport where anything can happen because very large, very fast men have set themselves the task of moving a little brown ball from one side of a field to the other. But when you get very large, very fast men set in violent opposition, things can get ugly out there. In the mid 1990s, the NFL established a group called the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Com- mittee to look at the effects of concussions sustained over a profes- sional football career. “At first, they kind of downplayed it,” says Weathersby. “They argued that there wasn’t much connection between repeated hits to the head and concussions.” By the early 2000s, the evidence was essentially irrefutable, and the medical community picked up the flag



Quarterback This word now evokes an idyllic image of the one person a team relies on for leadership, with a smiling face that lands on magazine covers and a rocket arm

Blitz This term is ripped straight from the history books. A blitz, in football parlance, is when a defense sends more than four rushers after the ball is snapped, with the rushers coming from the second line of the defense. The goal in a blitz is to quickly get to the quarterback or ball carrier — one might say, with lightning speed.

that delivers touchdowns. But, back when Walter Camp first came up with the term, it had a more straightforward meaning: The quarterback simply lined up halfway between the line of scrimmage and the halfback, and the halfback was between the line of scrimmage and the farthest person away from the ball, the fullback.

Of course, this term is derived from the German war tactic “Blitzkrieg,” or lightning war, used in World War II.

Pigskin The origin of this phrase makes logical sense, but maybe not in the way you

Nickel Standard defensive packages in football have four defensive backs on the field at once. When a fifth defensive back is added, it is called

think: In the sport’s earliest days, the ball was made from an inflated animal bladder — sometimes, but not

a “nickel” package — an obvious reference to the U.S. currency that is worth five cents. This defensive alignment was originally used by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1960 NFL Championship game, though former Bears coach George Allen is credited with coming up with the name.

always, from a pig. Sometimes, to avoid the unpleasant act of having to blow up an animal bladder, they were filled with straw and rocks instead of air. Eventually, a leather covering was added. The balls used in football today are actually made from steer hide or vulcanized rubber.

and ran with it. In 2006, Roger Goodell became NFL commissioner, and began reshaping the sport into what we see today. Though he defended the league before Congress, he later implemented the NFL concussion protocol, whereby professional concussion spotters and neurologists on the field and in booths keep watch for players who look as though they have received concussive injuries. (The special- ists can even speak directly — via wireless headsets — with referees, who can stop the game if a player appears to have symptoms of trauma.) Those players identified as being injured are immediately pulled for on-site evaluation by physicians. Some remain sidelined for the duration of the game. Some are medically evacuated to hospitals for further brain scans. Except for the team doctors, who are consulted, everyone involved is unaffiliated with the NFL. Meanwhile, the NFL has implemented rule changes on tackling: A player can no longer lead with his helmet. And there is an ever- evolving effort to improve player equipment — though ironically, the helmets of today are only scarcely better for the concussion problem than the leather helmets of the 1920s. Because head- on-head contact isn’t likely to result in skulls smashing open and brains spilling onto the field, players are essentially incentivized to

collide heedlessly with one another with more force than they might otherwise use. In short, the system isn’t perfect. In the meantime, the most pressing change in store for the league involves its referees. In the 99th season, all you needed to be a referee in the NFL was a white hat, a striped shirt and a whistle. In its 100th, the league might consider adding eyeglasses to the list as well.

“ I preheat my Weber grill to 419 degrees (simply joining the two numbers of Kamara and Brees) — I tried putting Brees first but it was too damn hot), then cook my wings on indirect heat for 13 minutes a side (the Thomas method) and serve them up 94 minutes (exactly one Cam Jordan) before kickoff. Just in time for pregame!” - D. HEBERT ; MY SAINTS SUPERSTITION








We Were Robbed no flag and we paid the penalty by Creg Stephenson "How do I smell from here?” — unnamed referee in a probably fictitious Jerry Clower story, after marking off a 15-yard penalty when a coach told him, “You stink." The penalty flag is largely unique to football among major American team sports, being as it is a colored handkerchief filled with sand or other pellet-like substances and thrown to the ground to indicate an infraction of varying severity. In-game rules violations in baseball, basketball and hockey are indicated simply by verbal warnings, hand signals and/or the blowing of a whistle. Soccer has its yellow and red cards, but those are quickly transferred from the official’s breast pocket to his or her hand and then back into the pocket after being shown to the offending player. and understated. It’s something between a javelin toss and a child playing with a toy parachute. And nothing can kill the buzz of celebratory football fans like a televi- sion or public address announcer intoning, “There’s a flag on the play…” after an apparent touchdown. But where did the penalty flag come from, anyway? It all began in that noted cradle of football, Youngstown, Ohio. According to a story published on the official website of Youngstown State Univer- sity, the penalty flag’s inventor was Dwight “Dike” Beede, who coached at the school from 1937 to 1972. Beede introduced the penalty flag for an Oct. 17, 1941, game against Oklahoma City University, tired as he was of officials using various horns and whistles to indicate a penalty. “I thought perhaps if there was some visual signal given which wouldn’t be heard Only in football is a penalty — be it offsides, holding or illegal use of the hands — marked by an official pulling and tossing the flag from his pocket in a fashion that’s simultaneously conspicuous

It’s unclear how quickly Beede’s innova- tion spread throughout the country (there was a war on, after all), but by the late 1940s they were common enough to be mentioned casually in newspaper stories. The American Football Coaches Associa- tion formally adopted the penalty flag in 1948; the NFL followed suit for a Green Bay Packers-Boston Yanks game at Fenway Park that September. Officials still use their whistles to stop and start play, and often blow the whistle in conjunction with throwing the flag. (A noted exception to this was in the legendary 1967 “Ice Bowl” between the Packers and Dallas Cowboys, when a referee’s whistle froze to

by the players it would be helpful,” Beede said in a 1972 interview with WKBN TV of Youngstown published by the Associated Press. “So, I thought that if a flag could be thrown, or a handkerchief, to designate that the play would go on until the whistle was blown on the part of the referee, which officially stopped the game.” Beede tasked his wife, Irma, with sewing the first flags together out of cloth from his daughter’s old Halloween costume. He initially chose white fabric with red stripes, so that the penalty markers would stand out in the muddy grass on which football was usually played in those days. The penalty flag was an immediate sensation, with official Jack McPhee saying, “It’s been a big help.”

McPhee later used the flags at an Ohio State-Iowa game, where Big Ten commissioner John Griffith took note.

his lip, so officials used verbal commands

to get players’ attention.) College penalty flags remained red – Clower refers to the flag as a “red rag” in the comedy routine refer- enced in the opening of this story – until the 1970s. The NFL, which had used white penalty flags, switched to the bright yellow color we recognize today in 1965. After initially being made from literal whole cloth, flags are now generally fashioned from nylon. And after everything from fishing sinkers to BBs were used to weigh down flags, it was determined that sand worked best, so most flags now contain a small bag of sand in one end.



Who Dat Nation with determination and resiliency. We want to play for you, fight for you, and win for you. You deserve that. The longer I play I realize that we truly are one heartbeat with our fans. Our success is your success. Our disappointment is your disappointment. We are inspired by one another to accomplish things far greater than what we could ever do on our own. Everything that has ever happened to this community, we have bonded together, passion and emotion into your families and communities. Inspire others with your focus & determination and positive outlook. This will make us stronger, this will bond us tighter, this will be a source for our success in the future. There is no place like New Orleans. There is no community like ours. No fans like the Who Dat Nation. I refuse to let this hold us down. I refuse to let this create any negativity or resentment. I embrace the challenge. So keep your chin up, hold your head high, puff your chest out because WE are the Who Dat Nation and WE will always persevere. “ I’ve spent this last week navigating the heartache and disappointment from the game. Some things within our control and some outside our control that caused us to fall short. So much of our motivation is to represent the galvanized and leaped forward every time. The frustration we feel now can be channeled in the same way. Pour that

As’s Mark Schultz notes in a 2015 article, officials are instructed to throw the flag near the spot of the foul, and generally at a player’s feet. But sometimes they get carried away. In 2014, NFL back judge Todd Prukop threw his flag 31 yards, causing a sensation on social media and video sites. And in one of the more unfortunate instances in football history, Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Orlando

Brown was temporarily blinded in one

eye when official Jeff Triplette’s flag flew into his facemask and struck him during a 1999 game. The penalty flag has

become so ubiquitous that players who believe they have been fouled often try to help officials do their job by performing the

“throw the flag” gesture, placing their hand at waist level and pulling it up quickly to “throw” an imaginary flag. (Note to players: don’t do that; referees, TV broadcasters and opposing fans hate that.) NFL coaches got their own version of the penalty flag in 1999, with the introduction of the challenge flag. If a coach believes a play has been incorrectly ruled upon to the detriment of his team, he can challenge it by throwing a red flag onto the field (in effect calling a “penalty” on the officials and/or the opposing team). Of course, the most infamous penalty flags are often the ones that never appear at all, such as the missed pass interference penalty that cost the New Orleans Saints a trip to the Super Bowl last year. Officials who don’t call obvious penalties are often said to have “swallowed their whistles,” but wouldn’t it be more accurate to say they “withheld their flags?” So there’s the story of the penalty flag. We can thank Dike Beede’s moment of inspiration, along with his wife’s sewing skills.

- #9

"Persevere" by Alexis Dillon, Student at Loyola University New Orleans, Department of Design





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aid Oh, snap, he should have thrown that flag ...

The refs in the Rams game sure could have used some "Gator Aid" last season.

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