Like most Saints Super Fans, Barry Matherne’s decision to become a Saints celebrity was based on a desire to
make fans smile and to give back to the Who Dat Nation he loves. But for Matherne, aka Dat Fireman and real
-life firefighter, the story runs even deeper.
It started with a simple, spray-painted fire helmet in 2009 when Matherne’s brother-in-law, the Saints Super Fan known as Saints Fett, talked him into wearing it to the game. Matherne decorated it with a fleur de lis and a couple Saints stickers and took his season seat at the 45-yard line. The fans and cameras loved it. Sadly, just four years later, Saints Fett passed away and Matherne made a promise to keep Fett’s work and legacy alive.
A donated firefighter uniform, plenty of added bling and an ice vest (he says it gets very warm in there) made Dat Fireman complete. Matherne believes helping others is his true calling and that being a Saints Super Fan comes with a responsibility to support more than just the team. Even in the off-season, you’ll find Dat Fireman and other Super Saints Fans working hard for charities and the community. His wide social media following has helped him spread the word about important causes. He even sells Dat Fireman t-shirts, with proceeds going to support families who have lost a police officer or firefighter in the line of duty. For Matherne, it’s about so much more than dressing up for the game. It’s about sportsmanship and spreading goodwill throughout the Who Dat Nation. And, most times, he feels Saints Fett standing right there beside him.