Common Ground: No joke, McGowan’s a Saints superfan _lowres

Advocate file photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ -- That evil smile. That cunning stare. That fleur de lis. Who could it be but Saints superfan Scott McGowan as his alter ego The Joker.

Superfan Scott McGowan is ready to fire up Saints crowds again this season in the Superdome.

“People look for us in the stands,” said McGowan, who will dress as Batman’s archenemy, The Joker, for the Sept. 20 showdown between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Saints.

His goal: “To strike fear in our opponents when they come into our (Dome) house.”

When he’s not The Joker, McGowan, a family man in Denham Springs, is the professional, friendly exterminator who keeps my home free of spiders, bugs and rodents.

He’s also the superfan who can make enough ruckus in the Superdome to catch the attention of television cameras.

“At games, I’m a totally different person,” he said. “At the stadium, I want to make as much noise and chaos to distract the other team. I’m stomping my foot, screaming and trying to make the people around me make noise.”

Who can forget last season’s headliner? Jimmy Graham leaped into the stands following a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers and McGowan’s Joker grabbed the tight end’s backside.

“It was purely an accident, and I apologized,” McGowan told me.

My husband, also a huge Saints fan, would sit and talk Saints football with McGowan all day if I didn’t remind him that McGowan has other homes to spray.

My husband shouts, hollers and dances from his recliner during those really close-call Saints games.

McGowan said he has followed the team for years through thick and thin and peps up the crowds from the stands and during pre-game activities in Champions Square.

“Whether the Saints are winning or losing and as long as you’re not a fair-weather fan and you’re following the games, then you are a superfan,” he told me. “You don’t have to put on makeup. We’re (superfans) not better, we’re just fans.”

Superfans do keep morale up, he explained. “People look for us in the stands and they say we motivate them and we say they motivate us,” McGowan said.

During one of McGowan’s recent visits to my home, he gave me a deck of his superfan cards, that feature him and 15 other superfans. They regularly donate to charitable events, including a recent one for special needs children, he said.

Keeping the hype going is sometimes a challenge during losing seasons.

“But you can’t stop (being a superfan). It’s grown bigger than me,” he said. “Fans are stopping me and asking for autographs.”

He plans to continue portraying The Joker for many seasons to come.

“When one kid, that you mean the world to, tells you that he is looking for you in those stands, that’s why you keep doing it,” McGowan said.

Chante Dionne Warren is a freelance writer. She can be reached at chantewriter@hotmail.com