This year’s New Orleans Saints’ record of 1-3 harkens memories of paper bags and “ain’ts” and the original Saints’ mascot named Gumbo. Before humans dressed in costumes with built it air conditioners and ran along the sidelines, goats and horses and cows represented teams. The Saints had a dog named Gumbo.
The original Gumbo, a Saint Bernard, met his adoring public and teammates in September 1967 a few days before the Saints’ first season opener as an NFL team. Al Hirt, the famous New Orleans trumpeter, serenaded the dog at a luncheon at the Jung Hotel. Gumbo was a gift from the Louisiana Restaurant Association and was named by Philip Wetzel in a contest.
Gumbo and Al Hirt, one of the original owners of the Saints, would hang out along the sidelines at Tulane Stadium during games. Gumbo’s descendants kept the franchise going until Gumbo IV was fired by the team in November 1985, according to the dog’s owners, Arthur C. Dale Jr. and his son, Larry (nola.com).
The current Gumbo is a human dressed in a St. Bernard costume. At times, he isn’t as quick as a real St. Bernard, as seen in this clip when Reggie Bush takes out the mascot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkCm7s3ilsI
But, the current Gumbo is probably much more reliable at raising cash for charities, making public appearances and driving the official Gumbo van.
Yep, it’s a lot like old times, except for Gumbo.