I never wear clothing with sports logos. Ever. Well, until this week, in New Orleans, I wore a "Geaux Saints" T-shirt, and you know what? It was so fun to wear.
I love gabbing briefly with strangers, making connections with passersby, having a shared moment with a new smiling face – and there were so many of those moments – just because of the silly shirt.
Some of these high points included a huge grin and an "a'right?!" from an elderly gentleman in a Santa hat, a high-five from a server at a Royal Street cafe and a "dem Saints!" from my hotel's bellman.
On a side note, New Orleans has a unique source for their team pride. The Saints' 2009 Superbowl win gave residents a distraction from the lingering aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the chance to rally together in "Who Dat" glory. The city needed that win.
And this week, while I had the pleasure of celebrating Christmas in the French Quarter, it was just so interesting for me to get a taste of the deep-rooted NOLA unity among residents as well as the camaraderie that goes along with supporting a sports team in general.
Don't get me wrong: I am always pulling for Milwaukee teams in a somewhat deeper way. I always want them to fare well because it makes people around me so dang happy and because it's good for the city. Plus, my father was a huge Brewers fan and I have many, many fond memories of County Stadium and Miller Park.
I've just never been a diehard or enough of a diehard to adorn my body with a sports logo.
And despite my positive Saints-related interactions this week, I don't plan to run out and buy Packers or Brewers garb. I was, however, genuinely happy to experience a sliver of fandom that y'all have told me about for decades.