"Behind the Scenes" look at the making of the McMain Saints spirit signs

"Behind the Scenes" look at the making of the McMain Saints spirit signs

If you drive along Claiborne Avenue Uptown near Nashville, you've probably seen them. Colorful, inspiring spirit posters painted by the students at Eleanor McMain Secondary School, to encourage the Saints. Every week it's something new like 'Commandeer the Bucs' or 'Spike the Vikes'.

"Sometimes I have the ideas, sometimes other people come in with one from around the classroom or around the school," said McMain Art Teacher Beverly Cook.

Each slogan contains some tongue in cheek humor and a beautiful illustration to match. The goal is to inspire not only the Saints, but also the fans.

"I think it's a great idea of how we do this," said McMain art student Phil Trinh. "It's like a tradition now, its been passing on since after Katrina."

Friday afternoons, students hand a new sign outside the school. Cook says the passing motorists revel in the unveiling.

"First of all, when we all put it up, people are honking and giving us thumbs up," said Cook.

The artwork isn't done hastily. This week for example, as the Saints take on the Detroit Lions, students thought long and hard about what message they want to convey.

"One of the themes, one of the big themes in The Lion King is when the Mufasa gets thrown off the cliff," said Cook.

So the poster will show there's a new king in town...Sir Saint! The artwork has become so popular over the years, people are actually buying the canvases from the school. It's something these students never expected, and they aren't shy to give themselves a pat on the back.

"I'm very proud of myself," said Trinh. "I take pictures and put it on Twitter, tag Drew Brees and all the Saints players."

The students hope each stroke they make in creating the artwork brings a smile to people's faces, and helps encourage the Saints to go all the way.

Last year the students ran into some financial problems. They were painting on the backside of already used canvases because they didn't have enough money to buy fresh ones. Thanks to the sale of some of their signs, they came up with the money to buy new art supplies for this season.

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