GULFPORT -- Fans of the New Orleans Saints may have a wait before there is Black and Gold in the Super Bowl, but that didn't stop hundreds from the Who Dat Nation from supporting their team Saturday at the Island View Casino in Gulfport.
The Saints faithful were joined by super fans such as the Who Dat King, The Mad Datter, Dat Girl and even The Pope at the Black and Gold Super Celebration, which benefited the Gulf Coast Women's Center for Nonviolence.
"We are so glad to be a part of this with the Gulf Coast Women's Center for Nonviolence and bring awareness to domestic violence," Island View Promotions Manager Steve Greenfield said. "The Saints fans have come out and helped support this cause by paying admission and buying T-shirts, and all of the auctions we are having. The donations are going to straight to the women's center."
Former Saints players such as wide receiver Joe Horn were on hand to visit with the fans.
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"We have Mel Mitchell and Joe Horn and all of the New Orleans Saints 'super fans' here to take photos and talk with the fans," Greenfield said. "They are the people you see on TV at every game in the Superdome. They are the characters that you see on TV when they are going to commercials or showing the crowd."
One of the crowd favorites at Saints home games is Who Dat King, a Saints-themed Elvis impersonator who is also an ordained minister. The King made use of his ordination as he married five couples from the stage Saturday and renewed the vows of an additional 26 couples.
"This is the largest mass wedding in Mississippi," Greenfield said. "The Who Dat King and The Pope are both ordained ministers. I've been wanting to do a mass wedding for Saints fans for a long time."
The newlyweds ranged from diehard fans to couples looking to do something a bit different.
David Lewis of Mobile and Nancy Williams of Gulfport tied the knot during the ceremony.
"We like the Saints a bit," Williams said. "We're not huge fans. We heard about this and we thought it would be a cool way to get married."
Eddie Jones of Laurel, who wed his fiancée, Charlann Nicholson, said it was what Nicholson wanted him to do.
"I'm a 49ers fan," he said with a laugh. "Charlann workes here and she wanted to do this. You know this is true love."
It has been a tumultuous week for Saints fans as the team is coming off two losses in a row and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was fired after last week's 47-17 loss to Washington. Mack Cuenca, who plays the character Mack the Quack, said he will be in the Superdome whether the Saints are winning or losing.
"I put the clown wig on for the first time in 1981 when the Saints were terrible," he said. "But I don't miss a game. I think we are about to turn it around and win nine games in a row. That would make us Super Bowl champions."
Although the Saints have a long way to go to get to the championship, the Who Dat King offered some sage advice for the recently wed.
"The way to make your marriage work is to watch the Saints every game," he said. "You have to watch them, win or lose."