For some fans, off-field deeds make up for on-field disappointments

For some fans, off-field deeds make up for on-field disappointments

Poor performance by the Saints isn't just affecting the morale of the team, it's also affecting local business. But there's one reason why a lot of fans say they're not giving up on the Black and Gold, and it has to do with how they spend their time away from the game.

At the Black and Gold Shop in Metairie, Saints fan Anna Johnson is taking advantage of some good deals. "There's lots of stuff on sale now," Johnson said.

Owner Pam Randazza explains, "We're way down, we're way down from last year. I don't really give figures, but we're substantially down a lot."

Randazza chalks it up to the Saints dismal season thus far. But despite the hit on her business, Randazza isn't ready to give up on the team. Neither is fan Anna Johnson, thanks in part to what the team does in its off time.

"I'm a teacher and they came out to our school this year. They just do a lot of things for the community, so I think we need to look on the bright side," Johnson said.

"We have lives outside of football and things that we care about and things that we cherish and things that really could help move us," said Saints running back Pierre Thomas.

For Thomas, that includes educating kids about leading a healthy lifestyle. On Monday night, Thomas and several teammates served meals to guests at Morton's Steakhouse in an effort to raise money for Thomas' ICAN Foundation.

Thomas explains, "My foundation is all about childhood obesity, fighting childhood obesity, bringing awareness to everybody and to kids about eating healthy and being active."

Saints fullback Erik Lorig says he always looks for opportunities to make a difference in the lives of Saints fans.

"Football is such a big deal around the country and especially here in New Orleans. I mean it's different - the football culture here is different, and they give so much. Any time you get an opportunity to give back, it's something I want to do," Lorig said.

It's that commitment to the fans that some say makes up for the domino effect on businesses when the Saints lose. Pam Randazza says she's seen years like this before and she knows things eventually will turn around.

"We're gonna ride the course, we not gonna jump the ship, and we never will," Randazza said.

The bright side for businesses like the Black and Gold Shop and Walk Ons is that more people are coming in for Pelicans gear or to watch Pelicans games.

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