There have been unconfirmed reports from around Mississippi the past two weeks that pigs have flown and hell has frozen over.
Why, you may ask? The New Orleans Saints are in the Super Bowl, of course.
“I cannot believe I have lived long enough to see the Saints in a Super Bowl,” said 55-year old Clinton resident Mike Jefcoat, who’s been a Saints fan since the team’s first game in 1967. “Honestly, I thought I’d never see the day.”
Neither did most Saints fans, who have seen the franchise bust out of the paper bags of the ‘Aints days and transform into one of pro football’s best and most exciting teams.
New Orleans will face off against the Peyton Manning-led Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV. Sunday’s game will be carried locally by CBS affiliate WJTV Channel 12 in Jackson.
Kick-off is set for 5:25 p.m. CST.
Local sports bars in the Jackson metropolitan area are gearing up for the historic day.
“We’ll be hosting our annual Super Bowl Extravaganza and blocking off a section of Maywood Mart (shopping center). It will be an indoor and outdoor affair, complete with a smoked pig,” said Sportsman’s Lodge owner Chris Jacobs. “If it gets cold, we’ll even have some space heaters placed strategically around the parking lot to keep folks warm.”
Jacobs said in addition to 20 flat-screen televisions inside the bar, including those in the restrooms, Sportsman’s Lodge will feature a gigantic 365-square foot projection television outside to lure patrons to the party.
“We actually expect a smaller crowd than in years past because the Saints are in the Super Bowl,” he said. “Lots of people are having parties at home so it will cut into ours. But we support the Saints all the way.”
At Buffalo Wild Wings in Ridgeland, all 70 TVs, including the establishment’s eight big screens, will be tuned into the Super Bowl. Kitchen manager Shedrick Lewis expects one of the bar’s biggest sales days ever.
“Just for a regular season Saints game, you cannot move in here,” he said. “All week, we’ve had people calling us asking to reserve tables but we don’t do that. When those doors open at 11 a.m. on Sunday, I’m expecting the tables to begin filling up immediately with Saints and Colts fans.”
Lewis said that in addition to the big game, Buffalo Wild Wings will be giving away TVs and grills at halftime.
“We’ll give each customer a ticket when they come in and have some drawings,” he said. “It’s a joint promotion we’re doing with Capital City Beverage.”
In northeast Jackson, Time Out Sports Bar expects a standing-room only crowd for the game, with almost as many Colts fans as those cheering for the Saints, according to bar manager Destin Purvis. Time Out patrons can view the game on a 100-inch flat screen TV.
“We can probably squeeze about 150 people in the bar, and I suspect that it will be full seven hours prior to kickoff,” said Purvis. “We’re small but we have a core group who loves their pro football, especially the Saints and the Colts, with Peyton Manning.”
Time Out will feature three different meal specials for Super Sunday, including a Bourbon St. steak, and some specials on beer.
At Hooters of Jackson, one lucky patron will be driving home with a 40” flat screen television that will be given away at halftime. The winner must be 21 years or older and present during the drawing.
“We’ll have a large crowd, as usual, for the game,” said a Hooters manager who identified herself as Becky. “It should be a great atmosphere.”