Sep 9, 2010 9:39 AM by Cecilia Stevenson
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Tailgating began about sunrise around the Louisiana Superdome though the New Orleans Saints' season-opening NFL game with the Minnesota Vikings wasn't scheduled to start for more than 12 hours.
As the Saints prepared to open the defense of their Super Bowl title, the city was in Mardi Gras mode as schools were set to close early and concerts and a parade were planned in the French Quarter.
Even City Hall was closed for the day. The game matches two of the league's top quarterbacks - the Saints' Drew Brees and Mississippi native Brett Favre of the Vikings. The two teams played in last season's dramatic National Football Conference championship game, won in overtime by the Saints.
New Orleans went on to win its first Super Bowl.