the Italian issue making his Mark interview by Leo Singer 12-year-old Leo, a student at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans, sat down with Mark Romig, the voice of the Saints, in May. This interview has been edited for space. LEO SINGER: What is your earliest memory of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome? MARK ROMIG: When they announced that this big stadium was going to be built in this area of the city that was underdeveloped, it was huge news. I was in high school and I followed the construction like everyone who lived in New Orleans at the time. We saw the steel structure go up and I even remember the day they were going to connect the last girder and it was going to be set in and you could hear it — the settling of the structure — so you could hear it go BOOM! That meant the steel structure for the roof was done.
[LEFT] Mark Romig — photo by Edward Lallo [RIGHT] Mary Beth Romig & Jerry Romig
“I like a lot of things, but I only love a couple. I love my mom, my dad, my sister and the Saints. I have been going to games since I was in my mom’s belly. I practically bleed black and gold.” —Leo Singer
MARK: Yes because that means something happened that was good. LEO: What happens if it’s something bad? MARK: I won’t call a sack on Drew Brees. I just can’t do it. I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to say ‘Drew Brees sacked by such and such.’ I just credit the defense with a name and say stopped by such and such. LEO: What about Deuce — who invented ‘Deuuuuuce?’ MARK: Dad did. He said ‘Deuuuuuce’ and also did ‘Reggie BUUUUSH!’ LEO: The Saints are like your family business. MARK: My dad was the stadium announcer for the Saints when they played at Tulane Stadium. He also announced the Tulane Green Wave for many years, so he was the first stadium announcer when the Superdome opened, which meant me, my brothers, my mom, my sisters, we would all go with dad, so it became like a family thing to do. We grew up with it. I literally grew up with the dome. And of course now I’m announcing the Saints games like my dad. Dad did it for 44 years. I’m just in my 3 rd year. My brother Jay has been working for the Saints for 40 years. He’s the administrative director —he has many responsibilities including running training camp. He does the team hotel stays for road and home games. He knows everything. During games at home he operates the scoreboard. My sister Mary Beth is the spotter, so she stands on the side of me and tells me what to say so I don’t look stupid. She keeps track of the offense and stats.
LEO: Can you describe how it feels when you walk in on game day? MARK: I get butterflies. It’s like the big show, right before the curtain goes up. I get there about four hours before the game starts. If it’s a noon game I get there around eight and we go through the script.There is a script for every game. Every minute, every second is measured for a specific announcement, a movement on the field, when the teams come out to practice, when the flags are brought out, the national anthem. LEO: What is your favorite thing to say at the games? MARK: Well, ‘Touchdown Saints’ is my favorite thing because it’s points. But I like ‘Iiiiiiit’s GOOD!’ I like to do that. That is just fun. And ‘First Down Saints.’ And then there’s ‘Drew Breeeeees.’ Everybody loves that. LEO: You sound a lot like your dad (the voice of the Saints for 44 years). MARK: When dad retired in 2013, Marques Colston talked to him and said will you please pass on to your son that if he could say my name the way you say it (COLston) I would appreciate it. And so dad said I have one request, and my mom was like you better sound like your father, and I said mom don’t worry about it, we all have the same sinus problems we all have the same nasal tone. There’s another announcer in the booth, Chuck Edwards, great voice. He has much more barrel. He’s a professional. I have my dad’s voice. It’s the old Romig voice. LEO: Do the players like to hear their names called?
MY ROUSES EVERYDAY SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2016
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