Then there is the bird, that figure of legend. It was an African gray parrot owned by Rick Jennings, second-year player from Maryland who'd been on the Raiders' Super Bowl XI championship team in 1976 and was struggling to extend his career when the Saints signed him the following September. Jennings, 56, lives in Sacramento, where he runs the Center for Fathers and Families, a community outreach group, and waits to hear periodic reminders of his role in Saints history.
"This is about the bird, isn't it?" Jennings says, before breathing a deep sigh. "The bird was never in the locker room. The bird did not die in the locker room. The bird lived to be 27 or 28 years old." Another long pause: "But it's some story, isn't it?"
It surely is. And not just the part about the parrot.
Super Bowl Podcast
Daily Super Bowl updates from Peter King and the SI team at SI.com/nfl