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Saints Fans' Emotional Roller Coaster of 2022

The 2022-23 NFL season is weighing heavily on the most-loyal New Orleans Saints fans — the Who Dat Nation.

NEW ORLEANS, LA — New Orleans' fans are the most loyal in the NFL. Four months ago, Who Dat Nation was considered the happiest fanbase across various sports in the United States. OLBG and Saints studied fans ranked atop the NFL with the happiest fans in the league. 

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Recent research analyzed the teams' social media followers, the average number of likes on social media posts, and love-to-angry reaction ratios. New Orleans' happiness score was 7.18, well above the NFL's average score of 5.08 for other teams in the league. Then again, that was months ago, before the 2022-23 season began.

I have known Saints fans my entire life and a family who are season ticket holders since 2005. For 17 years they have donned Saints attire, and headed to the Superdome to support the team. Win or lose, the Saints had their hearts and remained loyal via the ups and downs, wins and losses. 

However, on the past Sunday, they actually considered selling their remaining season tickets. Why?  Making the trips to Caesars Superdome each Sunday to watch a bad football team is becoming a burden. 

1980 was the worse Saints season in the franchise's history — one win and fifteen loses.  New Orleans finished last, but fans remained loyal and showed up to games with brown paper bags on their heads.  These were the AINTS.

Despite a history of losing, this season is different. Saints News Network asked several loyal fans to weigh in and share their thoughts on the emotional roller coaster called the WHO DAT NATION.

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Darren Howard has been a Saints fan since 1967, 

As Saints fans, we have become accustomed to seeing a certain product of excellence on and off the field. We have been spoiled for the past 16 years. In addition, fans are disenchanted with the current quarterback choices. Jameis Winston lost his starting position while injured, and fans have mixed feelings. New Orleans' fan base is passionate about Saints players, especially our quarterbacks. It would be different if Andy Dalton were winning or making an impact at the helm, but he isn't. Finally, New Orleans has a viable option for excitement and entertainment. It is behind the Caesar's Superdome in the Smoothie King Center. Some fans have traded in their football helmets and are now supporting the exciting New Orleans Pelicans. The Pels are at the top of their game and are more exciting to watch.

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Rebirth with Saints Fans

Daniel Gray has been a Saints fan since 2006,

Saints fans, including myself, have gotten spoiled with the Drew Brees and Coach Sean Payton era. Something is going on internally with Michael Thomas' situation and all the other injuries. Saints players have been inundated with injuries for the past two seasons, and the problems persist. While players are paid large salaries and cannot seem to get on the field, we should still support our New Orleans Saints as fans. Do not get me wrong; it has been frustrating to watch what is going on with the team on and off the field.

Paul Young has been a Saints fan since birth,

The SAINTS' problem on offense is the QB. Jameis Winston was healthy in the 1st game, and he brought us back! Andy Dalton does not look to stretch the field, and defenses know this! Also, the play calling was bad in the 1st three games (2-1 pass-to-run ratio). In the games that Dalton started, the pass/run ratio was closer to 55/45 percent. That is a more balanced offense. Lastly, the defensive line has not played well all year except for the Raiders game! They are the biggest disappointment of the season. Time to revamp the entire D-line.

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Debbie Evans Garret has been a Saints fan since birth,

I have been a Saints fan since I was a little girl going to games with my dad. Participating as a dancer during a halftime show each season. I got married, converted my husband into a fan, and raised my son similarly. Aware of the Saints of old, embarrassed Who Dat fans had to wear paper bags on their heads. In 2010, we were finally overjoyed with our first and only Super Bowl win. And 'Dats' where it breaks down. For all the years of loyalty…. even when we were losing miserably, we had hope and aspirations of being Champions. Since that time has come and gone, our expectations have changed. We threw away the bags because we did not think we would ever need them again…after all, we are Super Bowl Champions. So now we approach each season with the notion we are heading back to the Super Bowl. As each season starts to dwindle and we realize it is not looking good for another victory… frustration kicks in. We cannot go back to the infamous paper bags (not the Super Bowl Champs), so what is left to do??? We graciously and emotionally bow out. This is my take on the emotional roller coaster called the WHODATNATION.

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New Orleans Saints fans can be the most devoted. On Sundays, there are Saints Jerseys all over the city. Early Sunday morning tailgating and black and gold parties have become the local ritual for many.  

The Saints are the fabric of the city, and the city's mood rises and falls with the team's performance. The season is approaching the halfway mark, and while things do not look encouraging, fans hope this ship will turn around sooner than later. 

The Who Dat Nation has been on an emotional roller coaster this season, but this is not the time to jump ship. Let us all come together and support our team.   

Win, lose or draw, the Who Dat Nation bleeds BLACK AND GOLD.