By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief
Patty and I are New Orleans Saints fans who participated in the Super Bowl Boycott on Sunday, but instead of attending one of the big gatherings in the city, we went to church, my daughter’s church, which is in Covington, La., a town on the NOLA Northshore also reeling from the devastating outcome of the NFC title game in the Superdome on Jan. 20.
We left Gulfport at 2 p.m. and got to Covington at 3:30 p.m., giving us plenty of time to look around downtown before the 6:15 Black and Gold and Yellow Flag Mass at Christ Episcopal Church.
The first stop was Acquistapace’s Supermarket for something king cakery, meaning something like a king cake but smaller than a king cake.
Abita Roasting at Village Walk was our next stop. This is one of two Abita Roasting locations and the first is in Madisonville, where my daughter and her family live.
Christ Episcopal, our primary destination, was next.
The congregations at all four Masses were encouraged to wear black and gold, and we got in the spirit of things, me in my lucky 7 Taysom Hill Dirty Coast tee and Patty in her Michael Thomas No. 13 jersey, the latter a purchase I made in December 2017 at a makeshift stand across from Melba’s in New Orleans.
Father Bill Miller, a Saints fan and the rector, presided over the Masses, the first at 7:30 a.m., and he titled his 16-minute sermon “Turning Penalties Into Prayers (Throw The Flag!) or Who Dat Say Dey Gonna Beat Dem Saints of God?!”
The sermon was, enlightening, entertaining and inspiring.
“Hear this and know this to be true,” Father Bill said. “God loves Drew Brees. God loves Alvin Kamara. God loves Cam Jordan. God loves Sean Payton. God loves Gayle Benson. God loves Gumbo and God loves the Saintsations.
“But you want to know something that will absolutely blow your mind? God loves Gary Cavaletto. God loves Patrick Turner. God loves Bill Vinovich, and God’s love is so amazing, so inconceivable, so extravagant and unbelievable, God loves Roger Goodell.”
Father Bill’s words made me rethink what I had planned to write on my yellow flag.
I was going to go with “V IS FOR VICTORY, NOT FOR VINOVICH.”
Instead, I went with “DON’T BACK DOWN” and believed it was the better choice as I hung it on the fence outside the chapel.