NEW ORLEANS -- It has stood as one of the signs of the Who Dat Nation's anger at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell: a sign at Midway Pizza on Freret Street with Goodell's picture, which reads: 'Do not serve this man.'
However, they now may be ready to take in some Goodell business.
'We want to put this chapter, this dark chapter in New Orleans lore under the bridge. So, that sign, in the near future will be coming down,' said Midway Pizza co-owner Ben Sherman.
The change of heart comes after the NFL reinstated Saints head coach Sean Payton. The announcement comes less than two weeks before the city hosts the Super Bowl and before Goodell himself would be showing up in town.
'As always, New Orleanians, if nothing else we're gracious hosts,' Sherman said. 'So, we'll obviously want to welcome him back. And I want to take the high road on this, so if he does happen, to come in here, I will accept his apology.'
Saints fans rejoiced at the news of Coach Payton's return.
'He's going to get an extra step to look at all the talent for the draft and everything, so I'm just really glad that he's back right now,' said Stanley Massett, a Saints fan.
'I'm excited. We're getting some good news from the NFL,' said Mike Serio, owner of Serio's Deli. 'They're doing the wise thing about putting him back on.'
The hard feelings about Goodell may take some more time to get over, though they admit the Payton reinstatement is helping move the process along.
'I guess he's trying to save his skin, you know,' Serio said, with a laugh. 'Maybe a lot of people will back off. But it's a good PR move to do it during Super Bowl week, since we're hosting it.'
'People kind of forget that he was a real big advocate of keeping the Saints in New Orleans,' Massett said. 'There's the bad about him and there's the good about him -- so, it's kind of a mixed review.'
Saints fans also expressed appreciation for what interim coach Joe Vitt dealt with this season. However, they now say they are simply looking forward to next season.