NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms made it clear during a press conference Tuesday (Jan. 15) that her comment on not wanting the Saints at the Mercedes Benz Stadium was a joke, but Saints fans said it may actually fuel the team even more.
In an interview with a reporter last week, Bottoms was asked which two teams she would like to see travel to Atlanta.
"You know, just anybody other than the Saints. I know there's gonna be a bounty on my head for saying that, but if it can't be the Falcons then as long as its not the Saints then I'm happy," Bottoms said.
The video went viral, and now some Saints fans have a few things to tell her.
"Too bad, so sad. We're going to be there. Choppa Style in the locker room," Christine Stone said.
"What? What? Oh my God. What does she have against the Saints?" Melanie Kyle said as she watched the clip for the first time.
"Is that real?" Jay Hebert asked in disbelief, "Well, the only thing I have to say is, the team coming to her home is going to be the only team with a ring because her team does not have a ring."
During the press conference, Bottoms said she wanted to make sure people knew this was all about the long-standing rivalry.
“Let me just say, it was a joke. But I don’t know of a Falcons fan who wants to see New Orleans and the Patriots in the Super Bowl,” Bottoms said.
Some fans -- like Scot Craig, owner of Francesca and Katie’s -- think it’s a little extra fuel to help the Saints to go all the way.
“I think it’s fabulous," Craig said. "You talk about bulletin board material for the Saints, you don’t think that’s going to fire the Saints up for this weekend to beat the Rams and then go into Atlanta and win the Super Bowl?”
Hebert also thinks the team could put a positive spin on the dis.
“It will be interesting to see what Sean Payton does with all this information," Hebert said. “Use it for locker room paraphernalia and getting the team even more riled up and the city riled up.”
Some Saints fans were pretty vocal about it, along with City Council members like Jay Banks and Joe Giarrusso.
“We’re going anyway, and we’re going to have a really good time, and we’re going to win the super bowl in spite of them being upset about it,” Banks said.
Giarrusso hopes Falcon’s fans will suffer an even more painful burn.
“The dream scenario in my view is being able to beat the Patriots in Atlanta, and coming back to New Orleans with not one, but two Super Bowl rings. [The] 28-3 [score] that we give the Falcons a hard time of, that would be nothing compared to beating their nemesis on their home field,” Giarrusso said.
There’s no doubt that Bottoms' words sparked a flame for Saints fans.
"Go Saints! I'm fired up, I'm ready for it," Craig said.
"Who dat!" Kyle exclaimed.
“The irony of it all...Going in their locker room, they have to live with what happens in that locker room, and we’re all going to watch it on Instagram,” Stone said.
Again, Bottoms said it was all in good fun and says whether it’s Saints or Patriots fans in town, they are honored to host the event.