Saints Rookies Get a Taste of Crawfish and
Posted 1 hour ago
By Matt Mendelson
Last night the Saints rookies joined assistant head
coach/linebackers Joe Vitt at the Harahan Lions Club
for the annual "Superboil" crawfish dinner hosted by
the Touchdown Club of New Orleans. The new players were
given an introduction to New Orleans cuisine and an
opportunity to interact with the area's passionate
Black and Gold fans.
The event has been held annually for more than thirty
years. "When Sean Payton came in (as head coach), he
said the he was going to bring the rookies to introduce
them to crawfish and southern living," said John Kohl,
President of the Touchdown Club. "It is a great welcome
for these players."
The players received just that and true southern
hospitality was shown. A crowd surrounded each player
and provided instructions on how exactly to eat
crawfish, a south Louisiana staple. Some rookies had a
harder time than others in breaking and eating the
"Sometimes we have to just walk them through it," said
Kohl. "Some of them have no idea if they are grown in
dirt or raised in the water," said Vitt.
"It took me a while to get the technique down. Once I
got that, I started popping them out. I was popping
them like popcorn," said T , the team's 7th round draft
choice from the University of Nebraska. "Once you got
the routine down, they tasted pretty good."
G , the team's 6th round selection from Syracuse had a
"It was a little weird to me at first. It is my first
time. I thought they were still alive," said the
tackle. Once acclimated, Tiller agreed with his
offensive line teammate on the taste, which is always
enhanced following the boiling process.
Kenner native, S , didn't need any help. "I grew up
around it all my life," Nelson said. The safety was
pleased to be back in his home state after playing at
the University of Arkansas. "I am really glad to be
home," Nelson added.
WR , drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft
from the University of Wisconsin, also ate crawfish for
the first time. "It was really good. I would definitely
order it," said Toon. Toon is trying to acclimate
himself with New Orleans quickly. He said, "It's
different than where I am from. Change is sometimes
good. I like it down here, I think it is going to be
While Toon came to the Saints after playing college
football in the upper Midwest, DT came from the
University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada. Hicks
tried crawfish for the first time as well. "Those
crawfish were amazing. A lot of hard work but once you
get to the bottom of it, it is well worth it."
While the players were given a sample of New Orleans
food, they still are adapting to the environment and
rich culture in Louisiana. Players have enjoyed their
time in the Crescent City thus far. "Everything has
been good. The people are nice, the food is great,"
said Tiller. Hicks added, "From what I have seen, I can
tell I am going to love it."
The club's first choice in the 2012 NFL Draft was also
pleased with the passion shown by New Orleans fans.
"The reception has been awesome. I have never seen fans
so excited and ready to see their team take the field.
I am ready as well."
At the conclusion of the team's meal, Joe Vitt
addressed the audience and discussed the new players.
"We have got a lot of great rookies right here. We have
a great incoming class that is going to help us win. We
are excited about this year," he added.
Vitt also talked about the importance of the event.
"Our fans have always been supportive of us. It is the
least we can do. We try to build our football team like
our fans; with a lot of character, a lot of heart, a
lot of resolve. Nights like this prove that."