The Best Things About Being A Louisiana Sports Fan

Posted on February 18, 2022

In Louisiana, we don’t march to the beat of a different drum; we bring the whole darn brass band down and the second line. Why should our sports be any different?

The explosion of online sports betting in Louisiana has been an exciting development and has given fans a chance to bet on the Tigers, Wave, Privateers, and when the NFL season begins, the New Orleans Saints.

Louisiana has over 40 mobile betting apps in addition to retail sportsbooks set up at authorized casinos and racetracks. Multiple online Louisiana sportsbooks are offering big promotions to bet this year. Some of the biggest-name sportsbooks include:

  • Caesars 
  • MGM
  • FanDuel
  • DraftKings

Like everyone’s preferred po-boy shop, it may take you some time to find which sportsbook you favor. Along with the variety of teams to support, Pelican State sports fans have a boatload of sayings and uniquely Louisianan traditions. While you’re musing over sportsbook choices, let’s look at some of the best parts of LA sports fandom.

The language of Louisiana sports fans

Other NFL stadiums are full of massive scoreboards and special club seating, and special, special deluxe club seats. Of course, some NFL teams have bands (Baltimore Ravens) and special team songs (Hail to the Redskins, Bear Down), but the Saints don’t stop at just one of anything. 

It wasn’t that long ago Saints fans would Stand Up and Get Crunk (that’s uh, crazy and drunk, combined), and old-timers still remember the Cha-Ching kid. And we will always have Who Dat? No other NFL franchise parties like Louisiana.

All you’ve got to say is “28-3”

When you explain this to a non-Louisiana sports fan, you might get a funny look in return. Why do Saints fans revel in the score of a game that the Saints didn’t play?

Please, child.

The only thing sweeter than a triumph by our home teams is when our rival falls flat on their face. The Saints’ true rival, of course, is the Atlanta Falcons (and the referees, but that’s a different story). In 2017, the Falcons led Super Bowl LI 28-3 late in the third quarter. They were this close to the win, only to let it slip away to the New England Patriots in an epic overtime collapse.

So any time a Falcons fan says anything disparaging about the Saints, you just say, “28-3 baby.”

Case closed.


Saturday nights at Tiger Stadium are an almost out-of-body experience. Nothing sums it up any better than the first few notes of Hold That Tiger at a Louisanna State football game.

An LSU game is part football, part performance art. The crowd knows the proper response when LSU makes a first down (it’s a little profane), what to do when the defense stops the other team (bow, of course) and when those first few notes are played, to scream your heart out. It’s what everyone else is doing anyway.

The Hullabaloo

If you don’t know what a Hullabaloo is, too bad, in non-Louisiana terms, it’s mostly a big fuss. It’s also the signature cheer at Tulane football games chanted after touchdowns. 

Does anyone really know what it means? No. Who cares? It’s a Helluva Hullabaloo.

(Here’s the actual cheer, but your interpretation may vary).

“A One, A Two
A Helluva Hullabaloo,
A Hullabaloo Ray Ray,
A Hullabaloo Ray Ray,
Hooray Hooray
Vars Vars Tee Ay,
Te Ay, Te Ay,
Vars Vars Tee Ay,

The Bayou Classic

Sure, Grambling University and Southern University pack the Caesars Superdome with fans. But let’s be honest, the game is secondary to the halftime performances of both teams’ bands. You’ve never seen (or heard anything like) the halftime show at the Bayou Classic. When the Super Bowl returns to New Orleans, we don’t need any big music acts; just put these two bands out there.

The River Bell Trophy

Nicholls State in Thibodeaux and Southeastern Louisiana University meet every year on the football field for one of the best trophies in Louisiana: The River Bell Trophy. The trophy, created by Sigma Tau Gamma at Southeastern, has the teams’ logos on either side of the bell.

The series is currently tied at 16 apiece.

Louisiana sports fans remember their relics

Does anyone else remember the New Orleans Buccaneers? The franchise played in the ABA Championship series in 1968. Does anyone else remember the ABA? It lasted for all of three seasons.

New Orleans also had a hockey team, the New Orleans Brass, in the East Coast Hockey League. They still remember the IceGators in Lafayette, where they had the biggest crowds in league history for four years running.

We’ve had not one, but two Arena Football League franchises: the New Orleans Night and the New Orleans Voodoo, who had one of the greatest mascots of all time (Bones and Mojo).

The New Orleans Breakers played in the United States Football League for one year. Shreveport had the Steamer in 1974 and 1975 in the ill-fated World Football League. Then they hosted the Shreveport Pirates of the Canadian Football League in 1994 and 1995.

Finally, we can’t forget the New Orleans BabyCakes minor league baseball team that sprung up from the Zephyrs. Obviously, that’s a nickname that only fits one state, and one that can never be duplicated.

Photo by MyImages - Micha/Shutterstock
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Darren Cooper

Darren Cooper was born and raised in Southern Louisiana, just a short pirogue ride away from New Orleans. He started his journalism career at the New Orleans Times-Picayune and has been a writer and columnist in New Jersey since 1998. He's won 14 statewide press awards and earned his first Associated Press Sports Editors Top 10 award in 2022.

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