Sammy Guillot, owner of Hairmasters on Eden Street in Plaquemine, was hoping last week for one heck of a fun and exciting trip to New Orleans Sunday.


Gulliot is among a number of New Orleans Saints fans in the Plaquemine area. He has been a devoted follower and season ticket holder for the National Football League club for 30 years. And, like many Saints fans, he has been long-suffering, yet loyal and enthusiastic for the N.O. franchise.


 

Sammy Guillot, owner of Hairmasters on Eden Street in Plaquemine, was hoping last week for one heck of a fun and exciting trip to New Orleans Sunday.

Gulliot is among a number of New Orleans Saints fans in the Plaquemine area. He has been a devoted follower and season ticket holder for the National Football League club for 30 years. And, like many Saints fans, he has been long-suffering, yet loyal and enthusiastic for the N.O. franchise.

The Bobby Hebert and Dalton Hilliard years were good and exciting seasons of uplifting victories without a postseason delight for Guillot and other local fans, but the last handful of seasons have brought two trips to the National Football Conference championship, the latest at home in the Superdome Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

A few months ago I sent POST SOUTH Operations Manager Keith Byars to see him for a haircut half remembering Sammy’s devotion to Saints football. Byars, who came to PS from Chicago, is as devote a Bears fan as Sammy is a Saints booster. I figured they had a lot to talk about. “Yeah,” said Sammy, “he comes in here with a Bears hat and jersey. I enjoy talking NFL football with him.”

Ironically, both have held season tickets by the respective entrances from locker rooms in end zones. Keith got to know Brett Favre when he was with the Green Bay Packers as well as Joey Harrington when he was with the Detroit Lions since both are NFC North rivals of the Bears. And, of course, Keith knew his share of Chicago’s players. Byars said both the quarterbacks enjoyed the fun of sparing with the Bear fans before and after games.

Sammy and his son, Dustin, a former St. John High football and baseball standout, have welcomed the tremendous improvement of the Saints since the arrival of Head Coach Sean Peyton and quarterback Drew Brees.

“We have really had great fun with the players on the current team, not just because they have been consistent winners, but also because they are a friendly group as a whole. Players like Drew, Reggie Bush, Jermon Bushrod, and of course ‘Blue’ (Randall) Gay, they know us now. They come by and visit before game warm-ups. We talk a lot with ‘Blue’ since he is from Brusly. All of those fellows are class people,” commented Guillot.

The local barber has a shop filled with Saints memorabilia. He is especially fond of a jersey signed by Brees and a framed collection of events surrounding a four-touchdown game by Bush in the Superdome. He also has autographed footballs and numerous other Saints collectables. He has  a kicking football from a Monday Night game in the Dome against the Packers two seasons ago. And he claimed another football during the recent
Saints’ playoff victory over Arizona that put them in Sunday’s NFC title match.

“It would be great if we could win it all!” noted Sammy on the eve of the NFC Championship game.

Sammy and Dustin have seen their share of celebrities up close and personal from the seats smack dab on the lower tier by the end zone. Recently he spoke with musician Jimmy Buffet. He sees Hank Williams, Jr. with regularity. Once, he pointed out former President George Bush, but had to explain to Dustin it was “the Dad George Bush” and not George W., who his son was trying to spot. Before the playoff game with Arizona the movie actor Brad Pitt waltzed by directly in front of them.

 “I would not trade the seats we have for fifty-yardline spots. I’ve seen myself on NFL films and playbacks and have been in the New Orleans newspaper shaking players hands from the stands. We are right there, almost on the field, just great seats!” exclaimed Guillot.

After thirty years Sammy has seen quite a lot and knows a lot of people associated with the Saints. He says a number of former players who still live in the New Orleans area are regulars at the games. He also has gotten to know play-by-play broadcasters and former Saints Bobby Hebert and Hokie Gajon. He says Jim Henderson, who is an analyst for Saints games, is one of the most knowledgeable in his professional.

Actually, Sammy has been around it all for so long he actually saved a fan’s life at a game. The fan had too much to drink and sat up on a railing, lost his balance, fell backwards, and was forced to hold on for dear life with his head hanging down.
Guillot rushed to his rescue and managed to grab the fan on his belt and pulled him up to safety.

“He sobered up real quick. Hopefully, he learned his lesson as well,” noted Guillot.

 One of Sammy’s favorite Saints players is former All-Pro receiver Joe Horn. “He was a great player and is a great person. We have gotten to be buddies down through the years and I’ve got his cell phone number,” noted Guillot.

The Plaquemine barber really thinks a lot of Saints’ quarterback Brees.

“He is a really fine person. To get to know him is more an honor because he is the kind of person he is, than because he is the best and one of the smartest quarterbacks in the game. He calls WWL radio every Monday and people try to get him to say something controversial or negative about a player or the team, and he will not do it. He is very, very positive. That makes him a winner. Dustin thinks the world of him as well. And Dustin knows. You can to his place anytime, day or night, and turn on his television set and it will be on the ESPN channel,” said Sammy.