It’s Mardi Gras -- and New Orleans Saints player Thomas Morstead ‘finally’ caught a penalty flag

Beads, stuffed animals, pralines, bags of potato chips, things that blink -- you never know what you can catch during a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans. But you can be sure New Orleans Saints punter Thomas Morstead wasn’t expecting the bright yellow throw made to look like an NFL penalty flag, which he caught along the Uptown parade route on Sunday (Feb. 24).

And Morstead had just one word for it when he shared an image of the throw on his Twitter page: “Finally...”

Morstead and the rest of the New Orleans Saints -- as well as their fans -- were mystified when in the NFC Championship this year NFL referees infamously missed a pass interference call that likely would have propelled the team on to the Super Bowl in Atlanta. But the call never came, and the Los Angeles Rams took the trip instead.

Naturally, New Orleanians haven’t exactly taken the loss in stride. Instead, a “boycott” second-line and festival, among other events, were scheduled on Super Bowl Sunday to keep locals from bothering to watch the big game. As TV ratings show, it worked, and local viewership plummeted. | The Times-Picayune sports columnist Jeff Duncan contributed to this report.