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Ten Things Saints Fans Should Know About Indianapolis

Ugly Building #1

Now that I’ve sobered up sufficiently, I thought I’d write about something serious for a change.

Some people suffer a persistent delusion that the Super Bowl is won by whichever team plays better on that day.

Not so. Wise folks know the big game will be won by whichever teams’ fans are rooting with the most passion. The psychic vibrations from this passionate rooting will boost one team to victory and leave the other in the throes of defeat.

It is a complicated business, to be sure. Just as important as the positive aspects of pride and enthusiasm is the dark side — a healthy disdain for the opponent, and moreover for the fans of the opposing team.

In other words, Saints fans, it’s time to get your hate on.

I realize this puts Indy at a disadvantage, because no one decent wants to hate on New Orleans, and folks in Indianapolis fancy themselves decent if nothing else. But no one said we were playing fair here. Viking fans are still whining that the Saints were “too rough” on their quarterback. Hey, life isn’t fair.

Having grown up on the south side of Indianapolis, I have the inside track on some truly embarrassing facts that every Saints fan should keep in mind as we head toward the confrontation in Miami. Of course, coming from Indianapolis I also suffer from the above mentioned illusion of decency which prevents me from actually saying anything insulting myself. Therefore I will resort to the tried and trusted technique of quoting other sources.

  1. You thought Louisiana lawmakers had cornered the market on dumb legislation? Not hardly. Republican Senator Jim Merritt of Indianapolis is hard at work on a bill to criminalize “sexting.”

    “We do not have this in the code whatsoever. Texting, sexting, is a new phenomenon, it’s a national phenomenon. What we’re trying to do is say to the child, do not sext,” Merritt said. “It would be a juvenile violation if a minor would send another minor a sext message, and if that person forwards it on, that would also be a juvenile act.”

    Do I even need to spell out how stupid this is?

    In Louisiana we prefer our idiot legislators to come from the sticks or at least suburban Jefferson Parish, but this guy represents the state capital, which is also the most populous city in the state. How can this be? How can sophisticated urbanites elect such an obvious doofus? Read on and it will all start to make perfect sense…

  2. Like all great cities, Indianapolis has been immortalized in the lyrics of popular song. One quick sample should suffice…

    Can’t go west,
    Can’t go east,
    I’m stuck in Indianapolis,
    With a fuel pump that’s deceased.

    Ten days on the road
    Now I’m four hours from my hometown
    Is this Hell or Indianapolis,
    With no way to get around.

    In case you missed the point, the Bottle Rockets are equating Indianapolis with the netherworld. The city inspires many such comparisons.

  3. Like all great cities, Indianapolis has its share of nicknames. For example, the always popular Indianoplace:

    Although it’s a comfortable, Midwest city with a steadily-growing economy, a growing population and an increase in amenities, it is perceived as being Dullsville when compared to the Coastal cities. It is easy to see why. It lies in the middle of nowhere — in the flat Corn Belt with no mountains, no rivers (navigable ones), no culture, no nightlife, no high-density development, no green space, no opportunities to get out and enjoy nature, not a huge number of suburbs, no high-tech jobs and abysmal public transportation. Rumor has it that Indy is talking of creating light-rail in the future, but don’t count on it. Too many people in the area are too antiquated and narrow-minded to accept changing anything.

    Ouch, kind of harsh. But again, these are not my words, ladies and gentlemen. I’m merely reporting what I find on authoritative sources such as the always-reliable Urban Dictionary.

    Comes from the evident lack of anything to do other than get drunk and watch sports and the appearant resistance of many of its inhabitants to allow culture, change, or diversity into the mix.

    Another popular nickname is Naptown. The term evidently derives from the notion that it’s a sleepy place with very little excitement. Another interpretation is this was a racially derogatory term promulgated by the KKK which, by the way, ruled the Hoosier state for a good long chunk of the 20th century. However, the term Naptown has now been embraced as a term of pride, or at least endearment, by the current generation of rappers, so I guess it’s come full circle.

    Other nicknames for Indianapolis include “Neon Cornfield” or “Where Fun Goes to Die.” I think you get the idea.

  4. Let’s consider the true meaning of the word Hoosier. Growing up in Indiana myself I was never aware of the insidious meaning of this term. I thought it was a value-neutral label for anyone born or bred in Indiana. Only when I grew up and struck out on my own did I discover the truth. In the rest of the country, and in St. Louis in particular, Hoosier has a very particular meaning and it’s not a compliment! This was first driven home to me when watching an old black-and-white gangster flick from the 30s. After one hood gunned down another for no good reason, his companion castigated him thusly:

    What’d you do that for? That was stupid — real Hoosier stuff!

    Let’s return to the Urban Dictionary for a more contemporary definition:

    Usually overweight, trailer-inhabiting, junk-food-eating, quasi-inbred folks whose idea of luxury is shopping at Wal-Mart and when in the mood for gourmet dining, go to Ponderosa. For the ultimate in entertainment, it’s the Jerry Springer Show or pro wrestling. Of course, NASCAR is big also. But the mecca of the true Hoosier is Six Flags Over Mid-America in Eureka, MO. A disproportionate number of Hoosiers can be found at hospitals, as both patients and visitors, a result of a lifetime of artery clogging, blood pressure raising diet and smoking cigarettes.

    I wish I could say that was hyperbole.

  5. Why is Indianapolis located where it is, anyway? It’s a historical fact:

    The city was founded on the White River under the incorrect assumption that the river would serve as a major transportation artery; however, the waterway was too sandy for trade. [Wikipedia]

    One steamer did make it to Indianapolis but it got hung up on a sand bar. Yes, indeed, the entire city is founded on the basis of a mistake, an error, a botched decision made on erroneous information — and a costly one at that.

  6. It’s sad but it’s true. Indy fans don’t have the passion New Orleans fans bring. When I mentioned the celebratory atmosphere here in the Crescent City, a friend of mine in Indy put it this way:

    Enjoy the party. In Indianapolis we don’t even celebrate until Miami. That’s how we do it.

    Sad, ain’t it? I guess that’s the danger of success. In Indy people are so used to victory they’re yawning at the prospect. Another Super Bowl? Ho hum. I guess they might start calling it Naptown again. Prediction: No matter the outcome of the game, there will be more fans welcoming the Saints back to New Orleans than welcoming the Colts back to Indy. That’s just how insane the fans are here.

  7. Just to show what an open-minded guy I am, I’ll entertain the opposing view. A Hoosier friend of mine wrote the following defense of Colts fandom, and I think he does a fine job of damning with faint praise.

    The Colts and the Super Bowl mean more to Indiana and Indianapolis than the Saints mean to New Orleans.

    Hang on.

    New Orleans has survived the greatest national tragedy since the Civil War. They have done so with the overwhelming support of the rest of the nation and perseverance and tenacity that is truly awe inspiring. There is still much work to be done, of course, and I do realize what a Super Bowl victory would mean to the city, especially given the Saints have never been this far.


    New Orleans has incredible music, art, FOOD, and history. Probably the most impressive of any city in the country. Jazz Fest. Mardi Gras. LSU football, the ocean, the Mississippi River, etc etc etc.

    Indianapolis has the Colts.
    And a decent Children’s Museum.
    Maybe the 500, but ick.

    There are many reasons for citizens of New Orleans to be proud, and besides the Colts, we here in Danielsland have next to nothing.

    Rooting for the Colts is the ethically correct thing to do on Super Bowl Sunday.

    I rest my case. Well… almost. Several points remain to be made.

  8. Since our hex on Favre seemed to work so well, we’ve been wanting to do something similar for Manning, but it’s complicated. We can’t just steal soil from his boyhood home; since the Saints come from the same turf it might have unintentional consequences.I think we need something more personal. I’ve asked one of my loose, free and single friends up in Indy to try for a lock of his hair. She thought she might volunteer to clean the shower room and gets some pubes. I told her she needs to lure him pack to her place with her feminine wiles, get him drunk and do a Samson-and-Delilah number on him.

    Still waiting to hear back from her.

    Which brings me to point number whatever:

    It’s practically an open secret that the Colts quarterback is a man of low moral character whose womanizing ways will soon bring disgrace on himself, his family, his team, and his adopted city. Open marriage? Yeah, right. Just wait until this blows up in his face Tiger-style and then remember you heard it from me first.

    (I could post citations because this stuff is all over the interwebs, which as we all know is an unimpeachable source, but it’s just too sleazy even for me.)

  9. Nothing symbolizes local culture quite like food. I feel bad bringing this up, I really do. It’s just such a mismatch. Because when folks in Indy really want to live it up in the kitchen, they imitate New Orleans. I’ll quote another Hoosier friend.

    I always go up to Indy for a Super Bowl party with some homies and other friends. Often it’s just for the party but sometimes we actually care about the Super Bowl. Like THIS YEAR, for example.

    One guy always makes gumbo. Last year someone added muffeleta sandwiches.

    That’s “other team” food now. What to do? We can’t celebrate their cuisine!

    Breaded tenderloin, green bean casserole? Nooooo! No Hoosier food!

    See? Even in Indiana people can’t get excited about “Hoosier food.”

    Not coincidentally, at the top of one persons’ list of best food in Indy is a place called Yats. Hmmm…. wonder what style food they serve there?

    In the spirit of full disclosure I must report I just came across an article on this subject that claims “Indianapolis holds its own thanks to a serious understanding of all things pork.” But I’m not having it.

  10. I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind everyone that Indianapolis is the city that changed the Hoosier Dome to the RCA Dome. Yes, I know, this is ancient history because the RCA Dome is no more. But it still says volumes about priorities in Indy. They’d sell their grandmother out for a quick buck. And of course it’s the subject of one of my favorite episodes in the ROX canon, namely ROX #82: The RCA State, which is must viewing before the Super Bowl. Check it out.

So there you have it. I had to stop somewhere and ten seemed like a nice round number. I didn’t even have to bring up the truly egregious events that took place in the wee hours of the morning on March 29, 1984.

Published inSports?


  1. Awesome, awesome, awesome stuff, Bart! Thanks!
    And I heard the rumors about Cousin Peyton (my maiden name was Manning) a long time ago. I really do think his Tiger Days are comin’.

  2. Jonathan Smith Jonathan Smith

    Ouch! Do you really believe that about Peyton? All the rest is probably true…painful, but true…I just want to be a fly on HIS wall! 🙂 Peyton’s your boy, anyway! Another good friend of mine is from NO and he sort of takes ownership of Petyon, in that he is native…

    By the way, what about voodoo culture, hedonistic behavior, city government being controlled by the mafia, and flood walls that are dangerously too low? I’m all for them (except the flood walls part), but I know a lot of people who aren’t…and they’re not just from Indy!

    Love you B! You know, I just want it to be a fun game to watch!

  3. fantastic!! hey do you remember a band in the mid 80s called “Dandelion Abortion” ?? I loved them.. ex-Zero Boys.. anyway.. They had a song called Indianapolis.. was hysterically fantastic! (and rather dated now..) I haven’t been back in a couple decades.. but I can’t imagine things have changed so much..

    Girls are so Damn Cute. in Indianapolis
    They like to go downtown
    and hang around all day..

    It don’t take nothing to be someone
    In Indianapolis..
    Just see what I’ve done.

    In Indianapolis.. In Indianapolis

    There’s a 500 Mile Race in Indianapolis
    The cars go ’round and ’round..
    or so they say..

    There’s lots of culture in Indianapolis
    they get stagnant and old and then
    they lay in their graves..

    In Indianapolis.. In Indianapolis.

    They’re building a Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis
    but we have no sports team
    to occupy the space!!

    If you’re just passing through in Indianapolis
    Don’t pull over.. if you’re not sober..

    In Indianapolis.. In Indianapolis.

  4. Wow, yes, I do remember Dandelion Abortion. I could never make out the lyrics to that song though. I haven’t thought of them for a while; thanks for jogging my memory.

  5. liz liz

    Nothing like perpetuating some myths about the homestate just to try to get your game on. All I can say is meet you on the field on Sunday!

  6. Momanon Momanon

    It is strange that you are such a Saints fan now. In “The RCA State”, it didn’t seem like you even knew what sport was being played.

  7. Peyton Manning as a womanizing cad? Good God Almighty! Indianapolis can’t be THAT squeaky clean a town if they’re keeping that kind of thing under wraps. It takes a major city to keep that down.

  8. Anthony Anthony

    I can believe that they can keep the tale of Manning and women quiet. Natural midwestern reticence An understanding that in a boring town there might not be anything else for a local sports hero to do but to see how many of the town’s maidens he can bed. The local talent a little more discreet than the women in New Orleans who have never been particularly shy.

  9. Garvey Garvey

    It is a little weird to see you hate so much. Not just Indiana-directed hate, but the serious bile and hate. I know it’s part of your football ritual, apparently, but it ain’t healthy, B. That’s some soul poison right there. Seems very un-B.

    That being said, I’ve lived in NO and B’ton and have been a fan of both teams. Was even a Saints season ticket holder for a couple years. But the Saints have played exactly one good game in the last 2+ months: the AZ game. Apart from that, they’ve played like absolute crap since the NE game. They nearly lost to two very bad teams (ATL and Skins) right before a string of losses to a weak Dallas team, a putrid Tampa team, and a crappy Panthers squad. The Saints looked like absolute shite against the Vikes and have Favre to thank for that victory. If they play like that in the SB, the Colts will win by two touchdowns, minimum.

    I don’t care either way. All I’m sayin’ is that unless the Saints play like they did in Sept-Nov, you’re gonna have a lot of crow to eat come Monday. (Again, lest anyone mistake my words: I am not a Colts fan or endorsing the Colts somehow: I am simply telling the truth.)

  10. Chris Huffman Chris Huffman

    1. New Orleans is a great place to live – IF YOU WANT TO BE MURDERED

    New Orleans was (once again) the United States murder capital, and 3rd leading city in the world, in 2008. Its murder rate is estimated as 67 per 100,000 by its own police department and 95 per 100,000 by the FBI.

    And this isn’t Katrina-related. In fact, the murder rate in NOLA peaked in 1994 at a rate of 86 per 100,000 residents, which made New Orleans the murder capital of the ENTIRE WORLD.

    2. You wouldn’t want to live in New Orleans if you have children (unless you can afford private school).

    The New Orleans Public School System is one of the area’s largest systems (along with the Jefferson Parish public school system). In the years leading up to Hurricane Katrina, the school system was widely recognized as the lowest performing school district in Louisiana. And Louisiana’s public education system ranks 47th in the country, beating out Mississippi, Alabama and New Mexico.

    3. New Orleans has some of the best food in the country, and it’s obesity rates prove it

    In 2009, Louisiana’s adult obesity rate remained seady, with the state ranking 8th highest in the nation, at 28.9 percent. Louisiana also has the 7th highest rate of overweight youths, ages 10-17, at 35.9 percent, according to the study.

    4. Louisiana is widely acknowledged as the most corrupt state in the Union

    From beloved former Governor Huey Long to four-term Governor Edwin Edwards (who pled guilty in 2001 and was sentenced to ten years in prison on racketeering charges), the Cajun State has a long history of dirty officials.

    For instance, according to a 1998 report from Human Rights Watch, a former police officer named Len Davis ordered the murder of a woman after he learned she had filed a brutality complaint against him. Federal agents already had Davis under surveillance for alleged drug-dealing, but were too late to stop the murder.

    5. Louisiana continues to be one of the most racist states in the U.S.

    In 2009, a Louisiana justice of the peace Keith Bardwell said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple. “I’m not a racist. I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way,” Bardwell told the Associated Press.

    Louisiana is also the birthplace of David Duke, an American white nationalist, and former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The citizens of Louisiana elected him to be their State Representative in 1989 and nearly 40% voted for him to be Governor in 1991. He lost that bid to the corrupt Governor Edwin Edwards (see #4 above).

  11. Adam Jay Adam Jay

    hate to say it, but i actually have heard truly amazing Jazz in Indy.
    Kevin Anker, Greg Artry, Frank Glover, i really don’t even need to go on… or leave.

    As far as architecture goes, your title picture is amusing. But that building, our federal gov’t building is anything but typical Indianapolis architecture. Walk down Mass Ave, or take 38th street over to our beautiful Indianapolis Museum of Art:

    Or better yet, just go to the heart of downtown, and look up. You’ll be surprised to gaze upon the blessings left by Kurt Vonnegut Sr., yes… the father of our native son and author Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

    As far as food goes, gee have you never had a Pork Tenderloin sandwich?
    C’mon. You’re just coming across as not ignorant.

    With regards to RCA, do you even know how many people RCA/Thomson Electronics employed in Indiana through the years?

    The saddest part is i don’t even like Indianapolis a whole lot myself. However, your arguments are so baseless that i had to chime in. I’ve travelled the world and i know what makes a city, a neighborhood, a culture. While Indy doesn’t have it all, it has the hearts of many… and you’re shitting on them all.

  12. spab spab

    This list makes me laugh. Indy is pretty damn boring, and aside from Bloomington, there’s not much there, but what saves it are all the great people who still live there and call it home, including some of my family. While this could be nothing more than good old football ribbing, I dealt with that 3 years ago here in Chicago against the Bears. I think in some ways the NFL kind of transcends a state or city, but represents the organization as itself (which can be said for any sports team). I used to be a Pittsburgh Steelers fan before the Colts and never was pro Pennsylvania or Pittsburgh. Aside from Green Bay, the Indy Colts have probably the smallest media market in the country with Indiana being the smallest state west of the Appalachians.

  13. wyledawg wyledawg

    All these people who used to be this fan or that fan, and now they root for someone else? What’s with the flip-flopping? In Nawlins we call that crawfishing, as an adult you pick a team and stick with em win or lose. I’m a New Orleans native and have never waivered from my Saints. I remember the “Aints” paperbags(like the muffelatta, a N.O. original). I’ve only been able to go to a half dozen games, they lost every one. I still hit the quarters after. Anyway I’m a gear jockey laid over in lovely Indianapolis(I hate snow and ice, it kills people), and was wondering if anyone knows of a Saints party in Indy? OH, and what the hell is up with no carry out alcohol sales on Sunday? Being a professional driver I don’t get to drink often, and today I’m definely looking to tip a few. I just don’t want to do it around a bunch of damn colt’s fans(got a load for tomorrow and can’t afford to go to jail). So if you know a place in Indy where a coonass can feel at home today, I’d much appreciate it. GO SAINTS!

  14. spab spab

    Indiana fans didn’t have a team until 1984 (almost 20 years after the Saints acquired theirs), so naturally anyone in their 30s+ probably had another team before the Colts. I grew up a Steelers fan in the 1970s (as a kid seemed you either liked the Cowboys or the Steelers). Took me a few years to adjust following the Colts, but once Harbaugh became QB he grabbed Indiana’s attention.

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