This weekend, the New Orleans Saints will host the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:40pm ET on Sunday and the game will air on Fox. Among those in attendance will be 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event runner-up Darvin Moon.
Moon will be seated in a luxury box in the Louisiana Superdome, home of the Saints, alongside several top-tier names. Headlining the list is singer Jimmy Buffet, whose bevy of hit singles include “Margaritaville,” “Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” and “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” which he recorded with country superstar Alan Jackson. Buffet’s career has spanned 40 years and resulted in a bevy of chart-topping hits. He even has his own restaurant chain, Margaritaville, which has a location inside the Flamingo on the Las Vegas Strip.
Speaking of country music, Kenny Chesney will also be seated in the same suite as Moon, according to Saints officials. Chesney, from East Tennessee, has been cranking out hits since 1993. He struck it big in the late 1990s with “She’s Got It All” and then released two more hit singles before the decade was through, “How Forever Feels” and “You Had Me from Hello.” In the 2000s, Chesney became a staple of the country music scene, pumping out memorable tunes like “Young,” “The Good Stuff,” “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems,” and “Living in Fast Forward.” His 2009 hit “Out Last Night” hit number one on the U.S. country charts.
Not all of Moon’s new pals hail from the world of music. Joining Moon, Buffet, and Chesney will be Avery Johnson, the head coach of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks since 2004. Johnson, the NBA Coach of the Year in 2006, saw his team fall to the Miami Heat in that year’s NBA Finals. Johnson won a championship ring in 1999 as a member of the San Antonio Spurs. In fact, the Spurs retired his number in 2007 and the current Mavericks coach became a member of the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame one year ago.
Wrapping up Moon’s star-studded company is Ronnie Lott. A standout from the University of Southern California (USC), Lott was drafted in 1981 and spent most of his career with the San Francisco 49ers. Lott is a four-time Super Bowl Champion and became a member of the illustrious Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio in 2000. He briefly joined the broadcast team of the “NFL on Fox” in the mid-1990s and currently resides in California. Lott is one of the top defensive players in NFL history and rounds out Moon’s cheering section during Sunday’s encounter.
The Saints received a first-round bye in the NFL playoffs and pummeled Kurt Warner and the defending NFC champion Arizona Cardinals last weekend by a final score of 45-14. Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw for 247 yards and three touchdowns as the team cruised to victory. Brees led the NFL in touchdowns during the 16-game regular season with 34, one more than Minnesota Vikings signal caller Brett Favre and Indianapolis Colts gunslinger Peyton Manning. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will likely have the call for Fox from New Orleans.
The Saints’ opponent, the Minnesota Vikings, flattened the Dallas Cowboys last week and also received a first-round bye in the post-season. Favre, whose decision whether to retire or play has dominated off-season headlines for the last half-decade, threw for 4,202 yards and 33 touchdowns during the NFL regular season. He hasn’t tossed an interception since December 20th and has just nine turnovers all season. Favre is 40 years-old and played college ball at Southern Mississippi.
No in game or on air recognition of Moon is planned, according to Saints media relations staff.