The New Orleans Saints are true to their team’s name.
The entire Saints team including owner Tom Benson and head coach Sean Payton took time out from off-season preparations to visit workers and residents of coastal Louisiana in the communities of Venice and Grand Isle, Louisiana on Tuesday, June 8. They took the Lombardi trophy with them to share their victory with fans, but their primary purpose was to provide a needed lift to the spirits of residents and relief workers there.
Not content with just a visit, the Saints organization felt it could do more to help the region. They decided that the best way to do so was to raffle off one of the authentic rings from their Super Bowl victory. Saints quarterback Drew Brees announced the raffle to loud cheers from residents and workers in the area, adding that “This is an opportunity for us to raise much-needed funds for the entire Gulf Coast region.”
The prize is a genuine Saints Super Bowl XLIV ring identical to the ones that players receive. Raffle tickets are $2.00 apiece and buyers must purchase a minimum of five tickets. The ring is the main prize–especially for Saints fans–but the Saints are also taking care of the $2,178.00 tax payment that winning the ring itself would cost, making it free and clear for the lucky winner.
Past Super Bowl rings have been stolen, lost, or even sold on eBay, but they have never before been raffled off to fans. The Saints, however, are making a habit of making history. When the team receives its rings at the June 16 ceremony, it will be the first ever to bear the Saints’ fleur-de-lis, marking a high point in the franchise’s 43-year existence.
The winner of the raffle will be announced at the opening game of the regular season on September 9. The home opener against the Minnesota Vikings, their opponents in the 2009 season’s NFC Championship Game, promises to be an exciting one in its own right. For one spectacularly fortunate fan, it will be more exciting still.