Brees leads major New Orleans Carnival parade
One of the most accurate arms in the NFL had no trouble finding
receivers Sunday night.
Thousands lined the streets to catch small, foam footballs
thrown by Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees while he served as monarch of
Bacchus, one of the biggest parades of the Carnival season that
culminates in Mardi Gras.
The New Orleans Saints quarterback threw 10,000 black and gold
footballs, along with the usual beads and doubloons, from his perch
atop the float that was desined to look like a Roman chariot. Brees
dressed as the Roman god of wine in a short gold and red tunic,
gold boots and cape and a crown of gold grape leaves.
A cadre of police officers and parade officials had to accompany
Brees from the limo that dropped him off at his float. He was
accompanied by his wife, Brittany, who wore a white gown and gold
crown. An eager crowd chanted his name and the familiar “Who Dat”
cry of Saints fans.
The usual Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold were
replaced along the parade route with the black and gold of the
Saints jerseys worn by thousands.
“I missed the Saints parade,” said Henry Exterstern, 50, of
New Orleans. “No way I was going to miss him this time.”
It was the second parade this week for Brees, after the Super
Bowl victory parade Tuesday that celebrated the Saints’ win over
the Indianapolis Colts a week ago.
Sunday’s parade appeared to get an attendance boost from the
presence of Brees.
“This is a mad house,” said Jennifer LeBlanc, 34, who said she
sees the parade every year. “This is the biggest crowd I’ve ever
seen. And every one is having a great time.”
Brees began throwing the beads and footballs as soon as he
boarded the float, giving a thumbs up to people who caught
As the float began to move, Brees took the microphone and
chanted, “Who Dat, Who Dat.”
“We love you New Orleans,” he shouted. “Hail Bacchus.”
The final weekend of Carnival saw dozens of parades roll
throughout the New Orleans area. Another huge parade, Orpheus, is
scheduled for Monday. More parades will roll on Tuesday, or Mardi
Gras, when businesses will also be closed and the French Quarter
and the parade routes will be crowded with revelers.
It all comes to a close at midnight Tuesday as police clear
Bourbon Street and the heavily Catholic city welcomes Lent.