During the Saints Super Bowl run in 2009, Saints coach Sean Payton made sure there was always Popeyes Chicken in the locker room for road games. This year, he had strayed from the winning formula, and the Saints felt it. With the season on the line in Philadelphia during their NFC Wild Card game, Payton brought back the Popeyes, and the Saints responded with a last second win to propel them to the next round of the playoffs to face Seattle.
After the victory, Popeyes restaurants around the world began to see dramatic increases in sales. In New Orleans, some restaurants were reporting 30 and 40 car lines in their drive thrus. One establishment in Kenner ran out of chicken and most of the menu and were just serving cajun rice and strawberry Fanta.
Many people were hoping the Popeyes juju would rub off on them as well. “I have a big job interview tomorrow,” said patron Jacob Farnsworth. “I’m going to eat me a spicy 3 piece with some mashed potatoes and see if it helps.”
Other sports teams around the country were also taking notice. In the NBA, the Denver Nuggets, who recently banned pizza and nachos in the locker room and then went on a 1-8 slide were considering making an exception for Popeyes. Rumors are circulating both the Knicks and Nets are also looking into bringing in the popular chicken. There is even talk that the Seattle Seahawks were looking at using the restaurant chain to negate any unfair advantage the Saints might have, but since they felt it wouldn’t be a good look for Seahawks to be eating another bird, Seattle was looking at using the shrimp poboys.