Jerry Romig takes final bow as Saints announcer

"First down… Saints!"

The beloved phrase, spoken in that memorable tone, echoed through the Mercedes-Benz Superdome one last time Friday.

44 years after his first call, Jerry Romig -- who, through it all never missed a home game – took his final bow as public address announcer.

"As you can imagine, it's very emotional," he said. "I'm gonna make it. But, it's been a long time. It's been a long run, a very delightful run, and I hope I've measured up to it."

Romig announced his retirement earlier this week and, in the time since, he said the public response has been tremendous.

"Incredible. I can't believe it. I'm overwhelmed," he said.

As kickoff between the Saints and Raiders neared Friday, family and friends surrounded Romig, wishing him well and soaking up the milestone.

Meanwhile, the honors were already rolling in from the Saints organization, as a new placard hung outside the booth – dubbing it the 'Jerry Romig House Control' room.

For his son, Mark, who is set to take the announcing reigns, it was a special moment.

"My whole family will tell you it has been awesome the way the Saints have treated dad and have come together and honored him in such a wonderful way -- everything from the way that tonight is coming together, putting his name on the house controls, and they're gonna give him a Super Bowl ring which is just fantastic," Mark Romig said.

In the moments leading up to kickoff, however, Jerry Romig said the honor has been all his.

"This team means so much to the city and to be allowed to be a part of it has been such a privilege, a real privilege. I can't thank the Saints enough, for letting me be a part of it," Romig said. "I'm gonna miss the hell out of it, naturally. But, I have such memories. I have been so honored and I'll go to bed every night thanking the good lord."