METAIRIE, La. — Rob Ryan knows the way into New Orleanian’s hearts is to coach a defense that ends up with positive results on the field. Sunday night, he learned how to earn a place in their souls.
Following New Orleans’ 23-17 win over bitter rival Atlanta that was sealed with a fourth-and-goal stop by the defense, Ryan ventured to Ms. Mae’s on Magazine Street Uptown. There, he bought a round for those at the local dive.
Before he knew it, the story was out.
“My motto is it doesn’t hurt to do the right thing and be a good guy,” Ryan said. “I’ve been in a few haunts before. I’m just one of the locals.”
He certainly is now.
Ryan’s demeanor has endeared himself to those in New Orleans, where the more zany a character is, the more he’s accepted. Between his man of the people ways and his long gray hair, it wouldn’t be surprising to see several locals portray him during Halloween this autumn.
“These are great fans,” Ryan said. I love it here. They love their team and I just got here.”
He added, “Ever since we’ve been here, we’ve had a great time. It’s been well-documented, I put on 30 pounds in the first month I was here and obviously I haven’t lost any.”
There is one question, however, about Ryan’s venture into Ms. Mae’s. How did those in the bar react when the tab was laid down?
“I left,” Ryan said. “I hit and ran so I don’t know. We were just having a great time.”