Friday, February 5, 2010

Saints Superbowl Countdown and the NFL's Lack of Overseas Trademark Enforcement

If you don't live here, you can't imagine what the Saints winning the NFC Championship and going to the Superbowl for the first time in its 42 year franchise history has done for this city. When Hartley kicked that field goal in overtime, the entire city transformed into a giant block party: like everyone else not in the Superdome that night, our regular game day party crew streamed out shouting and yelling and started randomly hugging our neighbors and high-fiving strangers. Its been impossible to get much work done and all of us real fans are listening to WWL-AM 24/7 and its seems the local TV stations are in a ongoing duel to see who's coverage on Sunday will start the earliest - 7:00am local is what one of them announced tonight: that's ten and a half hours before the game actually begins. The other day I surprised my wife with a second cable box for our kitchen TV so that she can watch the NFL network while cooking, and now I'm hooked myself and have been watching it 2-3 hours a day.

In the middle of all this - four days after the championship - my mother, who has been spending her golden years globe-trotting all over the planet (50+ countries so far, extra pages needed for her passport, etc., etc.) came back from a three week trip to Jordan and Israel and when I called her she said that she would wait to give us most of the knick-knack gifts that she picked up for us, but that she was mailing one that she wanted us to have right away.

I thought nothing about that until Wednesday when a small but thick envelope came in the mail. I opened it but couldn't figure out what it was before my wife realized - "It's a Saints yarmulke!" she said.

New Orleans Saints Yarmulke

Oh my freaking Yahweh! My mom enclosed a note that said she didn't want me to convert, but I wish there was a fast track slip-the-rabbi-a-few-bucks express lane route to Judaism so I could go to services at one of the local temples Saturday just to wear this!

With all her traveling, generosity and shopping prowess, this was not, however, my mother's first experience with circumventing the NFL's licensing police by finding non-sanctioned Saints swag overseas. Last summer she went to Russia and bought us a set of Russian nesting "matryoshka" dolls:

New Orleans Saints Nesting Russian Matryoshka Dolls

As with the yarmulke, I wish she had grabbed a dozen of these - I would have split the profits with her 50/50: the NFL lawyers can't catch EVERYTHING, no matter how much they try to muscle local entrepreneurs over half-assed overly expansive trademark claims.

The matryoshka dolls are part of our Saints shrine below our TV:

New Orleans Saints Shrine

And all this compliments my favorite Saints memorabilia: the neon Budweiser Saints sign that I purchased - late in the afternoon when, amazingly, no one else had snagged it (but, it was before the current season when we only 8-8 the previous year) - from the old Rock and Bowl.

New Orleans Saints Budweiser Sign

And so, given as superstitious as all Saints fans are, I know that the combination of Saints memorabilia is why we are going go KICK THE COLTS ASS on Sunday! Who Dat!!!!!!!

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