Saints fan talks about his viral photo with Atlanta's Roddy White
Jay Vise Reporting
A photo that has been making the rounds on the internet the last few months has again taken on new life as the Saints host the Falcons this weekend in the Superdome.
In the photo, a smiling Saints fan holds up a Drew Brees jersey while posing with Falcons wide receiver Roddy White. White's less-than-enthused expression resembles a man who just bit into a rotten lemon soaked in Tabasco sauce.
Robert Harrison is the Who Dat in the photo, and we were able to get in touch with him after he sent us the photo via Facebook.
Harrison grew up in Washington Parish and moved away from Louisiana for a few years after graduating from Franklinton High School in 1994, but says he always kept the Black & Gold near and dear to his heart. He recently moved back to the New Orleans area, and we caught up with him as he was heading to Gleason Gras at Champions Square.
He explained the picture was taken in February during Super Bowl week in New Orleans.
"Me and the wife decided to go down to the NFL Experience...And lo and behold, I saw the billboard promoting the individual players taking pictures, and it just clicked in my head," Harrison said. "I sprinted all the way across the hall to make a beeline to where Roddy White was."
Harrison said he was pretty much surrounded at that point by Atlanta supporters, who had apparently pre-booked their Super Bowl trip to New Orleans in the mistaken notion that the Falcons would be playing in the Big Game in the Saints' house.
"I'm in the line, it was a lot of Falcons fans," "I'm in line, and I'm a little fanatic, and I haven't been home for a lot of games, and I had a little bit of pent-up Who Dat energy...And I said, 'You know what, I'm going to take this jersey off and ask him to hold it,' or get him to sign my hat, which had a fleur-de-lis on it."
Robert said he wasn't entirely sure they would let him carry out his plan.
"I kept getting closer and closer, and I'm thinking, 'They're not going to let me take the picture.' And they did have a state trooper who said, 'you going to be all right?' and I said, 'I'll be totally respectful.' And when we got up to him, that look he had in the picture....man, the look he had in the picture is the same look he had when I turned the corner and took off the jersey, and he said, 'Dude, you can't be serious.'"
The now-famous photo has made the rounds across fan boards and blogs in both Louisiana and Atlanta.
"It's just my little piece of payback for him about what he had to say about New Orleans, how he didn't like coming down here, and the food, and then he tried to retract it," Harrison said.
Harrison will be wearing the same jersey this Sunday in the Superdome, and his distaste for all things Falcons is echoed by many Who Dats.
"When I was growing up, I used to dislike the 49ers, just because they used to beat us all the time, and they were in our division. I used to live in Minneapolis, and I hate the Vikings. And I've never had any good thing to say about the Cowboys. But, that Falcons team....I don't even like getting gas in Georgia, or taking flights through Atlanta," he said with a laugh. "That picture was worth every bit of waiting and hoping. His reaction was completely worth it."
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