Despite that heartbreaking setback against the New England Patriots a couple weeks ago, the New Orleans Saints are still in many ways the team to beat in the NFC. They’ve got all the necessary ingredients to make it to Super Bowl XLIX: Sean Payton, Drew Brees and of course…Rob Ryan’s hair.
Oh…had you not heard? Saints Defensive Coach Rob Ryan is the Samson of the NFL. His strength and wisdom, deeply “rooted” if you will, within his silver strands of doom flowing from his slightly oversized head. It is indeed a modern marvel, one that has in fact inspired internet memes and its own Facebook fan page, appropriately titled: Rob Ryan’s Hair, which currently has more than 16 thousand likes!I recently caught up with the savvy chick behind this growing internet movement. Her name is Tina Gaspard. She’s a lifelong Saints fan. She’s single. And she would rather go on an 8-hour canoe tour with Roddy White than let someone lay a finger on the coif behind the Saints’ successful defensive turnaround.
Nola Chick: What made you start Rob Ryan’s hair?
Tina: Well, very early on in the pre-season, I became captivated by Rob’s hair. It’s just not the type of hairstyle you expect to see on an NFL coach. But, he’s been sporting it for years and just doesn’t care what people say or think about it. I love that about him. Then, after the Cardinals game, I posted on FB that Rob’s hair needed it’s own FB page…it’s just an entity unto itself. My friend’s thought that was pretty funny. A day or two later, I was reading Nola.com at lunch, and someone blogged about Rob’s hair. That was the tipping point for me. I realized other people dug it as much as I did and I just happened to be on my lunch break…so I went for it!
Nola Chick: Were you surprised by the response to the page?
Tina: Oh, my goodness! Yes! Never for one second did I think the page would get the response it has. I figured some of my friends and family would like it, maybe a few other random people, but, in the end, I’d basically be posting silly things for my own amusement. But then, people started posting about it elsewhere on the internet and on other FB pages and it just blew up! During the first week or so, I had to charge my phone 3 or 4 times a day because of all the notifications! The response has just been mind-blowing and a crazy amount of fun.
Nola Chick: What’s been your favorite meme so far?
Tina: Oh, that’s easy. I mean, I create all of the memes I post, so they are like my babies and I have a good time laughing while I am creating them all, but, my most favorite has to be “Rush. Tackle. Sack. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.”
It just came to me while I was jogging one morning and I laughed to myself all the way home. It was pretty well received on the page, too. Though, so far, the “Poboys for everyone” meme is the only Rob Ryan’s Hair post to go viral.
Nola Chick: If Rob Ryan’s hair could talk, what would it say?
Tina: Haha. Um…I’m real and I’m spectacular?
Nola Chick: If Rob Ryan’s strength is in his hair, where is Sean Payton’s?
Tina: The visor. Gotta be the visor.
Nola Chick: How long have you been a Saints fan?
Tina: My whole life. I didn’t have a choice. I have four brothers and our house was very much a football house. Sundays were spent eating and screaming at the TV. There was a brief time when I really just wanted a Sunday afternoon nap and sort of resented football, mainly on account of all the yelling my family did during the game. But, that period was short-lived. Now, I’m just as bad as they ever were…if not a bit worse.
Nola Chick: What’s your prediction for the Saints season?
Tina: Wow. Well, it’s been super exciting so far. So many people are already drawing correlations between this season and the ’09 season. We are looking mighty strong right now! I don’t think it is out of the question for the Saints to go 13-3 again or 14-2 or 15-1. I for one have my hopes set on another Super Bowl against Peyton Manning! The awesome thing about our team is, no matter how many sports commentators and writers want to, you just can’t count us out. Payton and Brees love to take risks. Brees is a finisher. He can go in with under 2 minutes left, drive the ball 80 yards and get a TD. And, now, with “the Hair” and a formidable defense…well, I just think we are unstoppable.
And that my friends, proves once and for all, why Saints fans have the best fans in the world.
If you have not checked out the Rob Ryan’s Hair Facebook page, please do so immediately and prepare to lose yourself in internet goodness.