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The Who Dat Nation is a big-tent fandom, with no shortage of famous supporters. From actors and athletes to politicians and musicians, celebrity Saints fans come from all walks of life — and quite a few of them hail from New Orleans and the communities surrounding it around the Gulf South. Like all fans, their following might be more casual or committed from one to the next, but they’re all fond of the black and gold. Here’s a list of 25 of the Saints’ most famous fans, ordered alphabetically by their last names:
Cliff Bleszinski, left, and Lauren Berggren arrive at Spike's 10th Annual Video Game Awards at Sony Studios on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, in Culver City, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
A prominent developer and producer in the video gaming industry famous for his work with the “Unreal” and “Gears of War” franchises, Bleszinski picked up his Saints support from his wife, who is from New Orleans. He’s also known to throw a bone to the Steelers; a personal friend is also a minority owner of the black and yellow. But he credits the Saints’ Super Bowl XLIV win with sparking his love of the sport.
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 20: Musician Jimmy Buffett sings the national anthem prior to the NFC Championship game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 20, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Buffett is a common sight at the Superdome and around New Orleans; he performed the national anthem before the 2018 NFC title game and continued to harangue the NFL for its bungled no-call at Jazz Fest the following year.
James Carville celebrates upon hearing the score of an LSU football game during a conversation with Sean Hannity during the 5th annual Politicon convention, October 26th, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Max Oden/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)
A well-known political consultant and media commentator, Carville is a Louisiana native and big-time LSU fan. He’s also proudly celebrated the Saints’ Super Bowl XLIV victory and rained fire and brimstone down on the NFL for its handling of the 2018 NFC championship game no-call.
Kenny Chesney performs a sound check during his Greatest Hits Tour Friday, Feb. 15, 2000, at Thompson-Boling Arena. The singer says he feels no special pressure in performing in his hometown. "Actually, I'm more at ease. These people here, hopefully, are gonna love me even if I sing bad," he said. Kenny Chesney At Thompson Boling 2000/USA TODAY Sports
Chesney is tight with Sean Payton, watching games from Payton’s personal suite at the Superdome and occasionally visiting training camp practice. He was also invited to join festivities in the Saints locker room after their victory in the 2009 NFC Championship Game. He’s not above playing fast and loose with his loyalties, though; Chesney frequently begins and finishes tours in Boston, taking time to mingle with his friends on the Patriots and Red Sox rosters.
Harry Connick Jr.
Harry Connick Jr. brings is New Orleans Tricentennial Celebration to the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre on Thursday. USA TODAY Sports
Among the many New Orleans natives on this list, Connick is unique in his constant presence with the team. Whether he’s taking in practice or appearing on the Saints’ official podcast to chat about recent happenings with the team, the award-winning musician is always eager to show off his fandom.
Nov 3, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) celebrates beating Derrick Lewis (blue gloves) during UFC 230 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
One of the greatest mixed martial artists of his generation, Cormier grew up in Lafayette, La. and still keeps up with the Saints in his retirement from the sport. He looked to Drew Brees as an example of how to represent himself, saying in 2016: “You try to carry yourself in the way of a professional. When I watch one of my favorite guys, a little guy you guys may know, his name is Drew Brees. He's always dressed to the 9's. He doesn't go to a press conference in a t-shirt with jeans, he's got his nice suit on, always carries himself in a professional manner and I try to take the same approach as most professional athletes.”
FILE - Actor Kevin Costner arrives at the premiere of "Criminal" on April 7, 2016. Costner turns 66 on Jan. 18. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP, File)
While promoting the film “Draft Day” back in 2014, in which he portrayed a fictional Cleveland Browns general manager, Costner opened an interview by expressing his Saints fandom, telling the Columbus Dispatch: “The Saints suffered infinitely more than the Browns have. The Browns have been a pillar of this league for a long, long time. I don’t know about suffering. People go, they boo and they cheer. They have their beer, and they go home. But what they are is, they’re loyal. I love that they fill that stadium, so yeah, I would love to see them win. Just the way I loved seeing the Saints win.”
Jan 26, 2020; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Ellen DeGeneres introduces a performance by Lil Nas X during the 62nd annual GRAMMY Awards on Jan. 26, 2020 at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY
A proud New Orleanian and close friend with Drew Brees, DeGeneres has frequently hosted Brees and his family on her eponymous talk show. She’s also visited Saints practices during training camp and toured the team facilities.
Mark Duplass arrives at the 25th annual Critics' Choice Awards on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Another New Orleans native, Duplass grew up during a tough time in Saints history and takes pride in staying true to the black and gold, recalling: “I’ve been a fan since the early 80s and they were wearing the bagheads in the stands and embarrassed to even be Saints fans,” Duplass said. “We had quarterbacks taking off their helmets with red faces because they were still drunk on Sunday morning. I’m diehard.” Since then he’s gone on to launch “The League,” a successful comedy circling the sometimes-absurd fantasy football scene.
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 26: Zac Efron of 'Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile' attends The IMDb Studio at Acura Festival Village on location at The 2019 Sundance Film Festival - Day 2 on January 26, 2019 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)
Efron had an awkward first meeting with Sean Payton, but they got to know each other better over dinner and he’s since gone on to visit the team facility and observe practice. Efron recalled: “I also got to go to their practice field because Sean invited me to their practice field, I got to throw the football with Drew Brees, which was super fun, it was sick.”
CANTON, OH - AUGUST 05: (L-R) Brett Farve speaks to Steve Mariucci during the SirusXM's Town Hall at Umstattd Hall at The Zimmerman Symphony Center on August 5, 2016 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Duane Prokop/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
The Hall of Fame quarterback grew up an hour outside New Orleans in rural Mississippi, and grew up as a Saints fan; a relationship he not-so-secretly maintained after turning pro himself. He’s also remained tight with Drew Brees over the years, despite his tough loss to the Saints in the legendary 2009 NFC championship game.
Apr 4, 2018; New Orleans, LA, USA; Actor John Goodman (center) in attendance watching a game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Memphis Grizzlies during the fourth quarter at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans defeated the Grizzlies 123-95. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Goodman’s family is from a bit further up the Mississippi River, in St. Louis; when the Cardinals left town in 1988, he took up rooting interests with the Saints, and continued to support them after the Rams arrived in 1995. He’s since moved to New Orleans and had a front-row seat to their Super Bowl run, telling ESPN: “It started during the season. There was something going on. Each week, the local television stations built it up. It was just a crazy confidence. They were always a fourth-quarter team. That's kind of a tradition. You knew they would pull it out some way or another. It was just amazing, and the party kept going.”
In this Aug. 23, 2016 photo, Emeril Lagasse poses for a portrait in promotion of his new television show Eat the World' in New York. The six-part Amazon Prime series is available for streaming Friday, Sept. 2. (Photo by Brian Ach/Invision/AP)
The celebrity chef established his credentials quickly in the Sean Payton era; he included an offer to cook the first meal Drew and Brittany Brees sat down for in their new home if they agreed to sign for the Saints during their recruiting visit back in 2006. Since then he’s gone on to pal around with Payton and film promotional videos for the team, while also engaging with other fans on social media.
John Larroquette attends the Tony Awards Meet the Nominees Press Reception in New York, Wednesday, May 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
Another New Orleanian hailing from the Ninth Ward, Larroquette is known as one of the more versatile actors around with a decades-long history of roles in film, television, and live theater.
Film producer Spike Lee, left, walks along the sideline with Ret. Army General Russel Honore prior to the Minnesota Vikings New Orleans Saints NFL football game in New Orleans, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
The New York filmmaker is best known for his Knicks fandom and appearances at Giants games, but he’s also developed a relationship with the Saints after filming several documentaries around New Orleans. He’s recently spoken at team meetings on Sean Payton’s invitation.
Sep 24, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; American actor Anthony Mackie in attendance for the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
A New Orleans native, Mackie’s star has risen in Hollywood with prominent acting roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “Avengers” films, and he recently released his own feature miniseries on Disney. He’s often worn Saints jerseys into interviews and late-night TV spots and is known to spar with rival Falcons fans on Twitter.
Jan 21, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Recording artist Aaron Neville performs during halftime of the game between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Indiana Pacers at the FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Neville is one of many successful musicians with New Orleans roots, and he’s still an avid Saints fan. He’s been around long enough to remember when the fanbase’s iconic “Who Dat chant” was first established: “I’ve been hearing ‘Who Dats’ all my life. My mom used to tell us about “Who Dat” when I was a little boy. It’s part of my history.”
Mar 31, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan reacts after winning a point against Maria Sakkari of Greece (not pictured) in a women's singles quarterfinal in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
One of the biggest names in tennis recently showed off her fantastic Saints letterman jacket, covered in the signature fleur-de-lis and black and gold detailing. There aren’t many athletes active right now who have experienced more success; her recent 23-game winning streak included a stunning sweep victory over Serena Williams in the Australian Open semifinals.
Wendell Pierce arrives at the 35th Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
“The Wire” star and New Orleans native is a prominent voice in the Who Dat Nation, often calling in to sports talk radio shows, ESPN, NFL Network, and generally making the media rounds when he’s not interacting with other fans on Twitter. He’s also one of the better-informed Saints fans you’ll catch online, keeping up with the latest roster moves and watching games with a sharp eye during the season.
Brad Pitt now has an acting Oscar. Usp Entertainment 92nd Academy Awards S Usa Ca. USA TODAY Sports
Pitt and his family owned a French Quarter townhouse for years, and he still keeps a close eye on the Saints. He’s talked about the team’s highs and lows in interviews and made aside comments about feeling down after a tough loss, while remaining quick to defend Drew Brees after an ugly game here or there. He also narrated an NFL Films “America’s Game” feature on the 2009 Super Bowl XLIV-winning team.
June 27, 2020; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Dan Hooker of New Zealand (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the UFC APEX. Mandatory Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via USA TODAY Sports
Another UFC lightweight champion from Lafayette, Poirier is preparing for his third match with Conor McGregor (each fighter has won a previous bout, setting up the much-anticipated trilogy). But Poirier has enjoyed many Saints games from the stands, surrounded by other fans; he lucked into a seat for their memorable comeback win over Washington in 2017.
Jun 19, 2018; Birmingham, AL, USA; Actor Dennis Quaid takes a photo with fans before the Southern League All Star Game at Regions Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
The Saints endeared themselves to Quaid while he was filming “Everybody’s All-American” in Baton Rouge in the late 1980’s, and he’s kept up with the team ever since. He’s discussed his fandom during interviews on ESPN’s NFL Live and in promoting movies he’s shot in Louisiana.
Feb 9, 2020; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Robin Roberts, left and Michael Strahan arrive at the 92nd Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Dan MacMedan-USA TODAY
The “Good Morning America” host wears her fandom on her sleeve, and she won’t be seen in anything else. After the Jets upset the Saints back in 2013 (yes, the cursed Josh Hill end-around game) her New Yorker coworkers tried to get the jump on her: “I work with a lot of people who are Jets fans so when I came in they had me put on a Jets hat. They wanted me to tweet it but I will not be seen wearing anything other than Saints gear.”
Amazon Prime Video is releasing a long-awaited documentary on Britney Spears, 39, and her slow descent into hell. It all started out like a fairy tale, in a small Louisiana town. FILE --- © Rachid AÂ•t M'Bareck/ABACA. 18573-4. Paris, 6/5/2000. Britney Spears performs live during a single concert at L'Empire.(Sipa via AP Images)
The pop music icon grew up in Kentwood, La., and even though she lives in Los Angeles with two young sons who were quick to adopt the Rams upon the team’s relocation, she remains a supporter of the black and gold; Spears recorded a memorable Super Bowl ad celebrating her Saints fandom.
Hilary Swank recieves the Leopard Club Award at the premiere of '7500' during the Film Festival at Piazza Grande in Locarno, Switzerland, on 09 August 2019. | usage worldwide Photo by: Boesl/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
The “Million Dollar Baby” actress joined her “P.S. I Love You” costar Harry Connick Jr. at Super Bowl XLIV, which sold her on becoming a Saints fan for life. She’s since made the trip to New Orleans to tour the Superdome before games, often showing off her Drew Brees jersey.