NEW ORLEANS — How does New Orleans cope with a devastating loss? By throwing a party.
After the New Orleans Saints' heartbreaking loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, one council member suggested that the city hold a parade for the team.
"I am game if my colleagues are for having a Saints parade coordinated with Orleans and Jefferson," Jefferson Parish council member Chris Roberts wrote on Facebook Sunday night. "We should have the parade smack during the Superbowl."
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Gambit Weekly Editor Kevin Allman also floated the idea shortly after the Saints loss.
"I do think having a parade just to honor what The Saints have done this year would be a really good thing to do and I think it would make the fans come together and feel a lot better which was a terrible, ridiculous, unnecessary loss yesterday," Allman said.
"In New Orleans, if you spit in our eye, we spit back twice. When we do it we usually have some fun with it and I think a parade would be just a great way to tell the rest of the world, you know what, to hell with the NFL, we don't care. We'll have a parade anyway," he said.
The Saints' season ended in a 26-23 overtime loss to the Rams after a very disputed non-call.
Los Angeles cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman committed a blatant interference penalty with a helmet-to-helmet hit on Tommylee Lewis well before the pass arrived inside the 5, forcing the Saints to settle for Wil Lutz's 31-yard field goal that made it 23-20 with 1:41 left in regulation.
"Came to the sideline, looked at the football gods and was like, 'Thank you,'" Robey-Coleman said. "I got away with one tonight."
“I don’t know if there was ever more obvious pass interference," Saints head coach Sean Payton said.
"Cheated," "robbed" and "stolen" were the words spoken most by Saints fans outside the stadium after the game. But some Saints fans WWL-TV spoke to after the game were upbeat.
"We're in the middle of Carnival we're about to have fun everybody else lost and just goes home and has a bad time. We're about to go home with a loss and have a good time," one fan said.
"We still made it this far and I'm still going to be a Saint fan til the day I die, baby," another fan said.
Above all, many said a familiar refrain in New Orleans: there's always next year.
The Rams head to Atlanta in about a week for the Feb. 3 Super Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. They will face the five-time champion Patriots, who won the AFC title in a game that also went to overtime. New England defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 37-31 in overtime Sunday night.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.