New Orleans Saints fans avoiding Super Bowl LIII won’t find a trace of football’s main event at a same-day festival that celebrates the team.
Choppa, Shamarr Allen & The Underdogs, Partners-N-Crime and others will perform at Boycott Bowl at Fulton Street beginning at noon Sunday, Feb. 3. The street will be blocked off from Girod to Lafayette streets for the celebration. Tickets start at $10 and are on sale now.
Also on the bill are Kermit Ruffins, bounce artists Ricky B and 5th Ward Weebie, Flow Tribe, Dash Rip Rock, The Vettes, Fred LeBlanc of Cowboy Mouth, Rockin' Dopsie Jr., Khris Royal & Dark Matter, and Michot's Melody Makers. Saints "superfan" Whistle Monsta will emcee.
City Hall officials tell Gambit that a local television station is planning full coverage during the time the Super Bowl is airing on CBS.
In the hours after the Saints' NFC Championship loss on Jan. 20, following a crushing no-call pass interference play that paved the way to victory for the Los Angeles Rams, Brandon Rizzuto took the blown penalty and the ensuing loss like every other Saints fan.
“I was depressed and down and out, and I was thinking that there is no way in the next two weeks I want to hear about the Super Bowl and the teams in the Super Bowl,” said Rizzuto, a former general manager of the New Orleans Voodoo arena football team. “And I do not want to have to sit down to watch the Super Bowl by default — all to just relive what we went through on Sunday.
"I don’t want to be reminded on purpose. I don’t want that to be in my face and relive it. I think every Saints fan can identify with that.”
Following the New Orleans Saints’ crushing loss in a “blemished NFC Championship game,” the New Orleans City Council unanimously agreed to dem…
That night, several hours after the Rams’ game-winning field goal sailed through the uprights, Rizzuto pleaded to New Orleans and Jefferson Parish officials on Facebook.
“We need a Boycott Bowl on February 3, 2019,” he wrote. “Please just provide us an opportunity to do something to celebrate our team, our city, and our fans that we were wrongfully denied today.”
Fifteen minutes later, Travis Laurendine texted him: “Dude, give me a call. I think we can do this.”
Laurendine, a concert promoter and event producer and Rizzuto's fellow Archbishop Rummel High School alum, who convinced Rizzuto to “produce this into being a real thing,” Laurendine said.
Rizzuto compares Laurendine’s intervention to Jim Morrison’s ghost visiting Wayne Campbell in “Wayne’s World 2” to help produce “Waynestock.”
“I just want to do an event that provides the city with an event to compete directly” with the Super Bowl, Rizzuto said. “The NFL does not deserve us to watch a Super Bowl.”
Later that night, they put together a Facebook event — with no other significant details other than a date, Super Bowl Sunday on Feb. 3 — and by morning there were hundreds of likes and RSVPs for an event the pair had less than two weeks to plan.
“As the day went on my phone drained twice from notifications,” Rizzuto said.
By noon, more than 12,000 people clicked “interested.”
By Tuesday afternoon, more than 8,000 people said they’re going — wherever it’ll be — and more than 36,000 people clicked “interested.” By Thursday, more than 300 people helped raise more than $5,000 through an online fundraiser.
Local musicians, restaurants and businesses and Saints Super Fans reached out asking what they can do to help, while organizers met with members of the New Orleans City Council and tourism officials to secure the location and to pull it off.
Proceeds will benefit the New Orleans Recreation Development Foundation.
“I think everybody has their schedule cleared,” Rizzuto said.
When it comes to Super Bowl LIII, a growing number of Saints fans plan to make like a ref and ignore it.
The shock from last night's travesty of a Saints game has begun to wear off — but the civic anger and disgust in New Orleans is just rising.