Any fan can wear a Saints T-shirt or hat, but wearing a player's jersey is a deeply personal decision. You're not just claiming allegiance to a team but to another human being. That's not to be taken lightly. Here's what your Saints jersey says about you.
9 • DREW BREES • You consider yourself a leader, or you aspire to be one. Brees demonstrates the same type of poise in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage as he does in post-game interviews and at community events where he's mobbed by adoring Who Dats. The Brees jersey crosses all barriers: young and old, black and white, Democrat and Republican, Northshore and Southshore. The guy is more popular than king cake. If you own a Brees jersey, you don't crave individuality, but you can always be assured that you're in good company.
25 • REGGIE BUSH • You love glamour. Based on his legendary college career at the University of Southern California and his marketing potential, Bush had a portfolio of major endorsements before he ever played a down in the NFL. Exuding Southern California cool, he wears diamond-studded earrings the size of postage stamps, knows the paparazzi on a first-name basis and has an ex-girlfriend who's even more famous than he is. As a rookie, he celebrated a touchdown in the NFC Championship game by somersaulting into the end zone. He has matured since then, but he's still a showman, and as the owner of a Bush jersey, that's what you appreciate.
88 • JEREMY SHOCKEY • You are a renegade. You listen to music at a volume that causes parents to wince and people to turn down their hearing aids. Your bedtime is generally the same as that of bouncers and bartenders, though you may be neither a bouncer nor a bartender. There is a good chance that you have multiple tattoos, or you secretly desire them. Oh, and somewhere in your closet there's a Kyle Turley jersey, too.
12 • MARQUES COLSTON • You value humility. In a league populated by preening, self-promoting pass-catchers, Colston is, in many ways, the anti-receiver. The former seventh-round draft pick entered the NFL with zero fanfare and, despite catching more than 300 balls in his career, he is as unfailingly soft-spoken and polite as he was during his rookie season. Colston doesn't thump his chest after a routine reception or engage in any post-touchdown choreography. He lets his play speak for itself. A Colston jersey bespeaks quiet confidence.
51 • JONATHAN VILMA • You pride yourself on your intellect. The Saints middle linebacker is always one of the most cerebral players on the field. On Sundays he matches wits with the opposing team's quarterback, trying to sniff out tendencies and bark out last minute adjustments at the line of scrimmage. Those who wear No. 51 are asserting their status as students of the game. And it's less obnoxious to wear a Vilma jersey than to walk around with your ACT score scrawled on the back of your shirt.
23 • PIERRE THOMAS • You identify with the underdog. Your Netflix queue has three movies in it, never to be changed: Rocky, Rudy and Hoosiers. The Saints running back went undrafted out of the University of Illinois, and was not expected to even make the roster his rookie season, but he's seized every opportunity he's had in the NFL and exceeded expectations at every turn. Your Pierre Thomas jersey conveys your belief in a meritocracy: a man will be judged on his talents alone.
3 • JOHN CARNEY • You are uncomfortable wearing the gear of professional athletes who are young enough to be your offspring. Wearing Carney's jersey allows you to stick with your peer group. For you, every successful kick from the 46-year old is a quiet act of vindication for all 40-somethings who refuse to believe that athletic glory must be dimmed by the aging process. Plus, a Carney jersey is a wise long-term investment. Even though the Saints may cut him, never dump his jersey; there's a good chance he'll end up back on the roster, ready to produce.
5 • GARRETT HARTLEY • You are trendy. It's likely you rushed out within 24 hours of Hartley's history-making field goal in last season's NFC Championship game and bought your first-ever piece of kicker paraphernalia. Hartley merchandise was hot and there was no way you were going to miss out on the latest craze. Need more proof? Fish that macarena CD out of your desk drawer.
57 • JASON KYLE • You are almost certainly related to Saints long snapper Jason Kyle. Kyle plays the most anonymous position on the field and the only reason his name is ever uttered is when he, or any member of his small fraternity, doesn't do his job correctly. Fortunately Kyle remains largely unknown, even to ardent Saints fans, which indicates excellent job performance.
3 (retired) • BOBBY HEBERT • You haven't participated in the free market economy since the Clinton administration. But you've given credence to the fashion maxim that any item of clothing, if you wait long enough, will eventually come back in style. So your resistance to update your wardrobe has actually made you something of a clairvoyant. In 2005 the former Saints quarterback returned to New Orleans to succeed the iconic Buddy Diliberto on WWL radio and "the Cajun Cannon" has become the undisputed voice of the Who Dat Nation. In some cities, wearing the jersey of a quarterback who hasn't played a down for the home team in nearly two decades may seem oddly nostalgic; in New Orleans it makes perfect sense.
YOUR NAME HERE • You are so emotionally attached to the Saints that you can't imagine donning any team apparel that bears somebody else's name. Narcissistic? Maybe. Delusional? Perhaps. Diehard? Absolutely. Have you seen my Saints jersey? It has my name on it!