Supervillain has become Saints super fan thanks to Scott McGowan
Scott McGowan’s loyal customers rely on him to kill their bugs and rodents. Saints followers count on him to strike fear and deliver a dose of super fan winning power at home games.
When McGowan, 43, of Baton Rouge, steps inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday — when the Saints take on the Buccaneers in a game to be televised at 3:25 p.m. on Fox — he will portray a menacing, dancing Joker tattooed in “WHO DAT,” plastered in heavy face paint, a green wig and his own hand-tailored purple, black and gold jacket embellished with brass rivets.
Millions of television viewers have seen the cameras pan in on McGowan’s wickedly amusing smile, doused in red lip paint as he waves his fleur-de-lis props in the lower stands. “It’s my alternate ego,” McGowan said. “When I walk into the stadium, it’s like I’m a rock star.”
McGowan and his brother, Walter Duvernay, attend Saints home games religiously, and together they run M.D.’s Consulting, their 10-year-old pest and termite control business.
“Scott is a super fan,” Duvernay said. “And he’s friends with all of those other super fans like the Saints Elvis. … They invite him to participate in parades and tailgates and everything.”
Just don’t ask McGowan to choose between the Saints and his extermination business.
“As passionate as I am about the Saints, I’m just as passionate about pest control,” McGowan said.
The brothers started attending Saints games about 12 years ago when the team was losing.
They kept the faith, even when other family members did not.
“My wife (Misty) would say, ‘Why are you spending money on these guys?’ The joke was that you could put two tickets on a window shield and come back and there would be four tickets left,” McGowan said with a laugh.
The losing streak eventually ended, and the Saints started earning playoff spots.
McGowan’s idea for the Joker costume stemmed from a trick-or-treat outing with his daughter, Micah, 10. He dressed as Heath Ledger did in the actor’s portrayal of the Joker in “The Dark Knight.”
In fall 2009, McGowan took his Joker to a Saints game, and the rest is history.
“I wanted to be a character that would strike fear in the Saints’ opponents,” he said.
He did that and more.
Following the NFC title championship game between the Saints and the Minnesota Vikings, Sports Illustrated posted photos of McGowan on its online edition.
But what caught McGowan off-guard during that game was when Saints running back Reggie Bush rushed up to him in the stands.
“(He) bent over and took the gloves off his hands and put them into mine,” McGowan said.
McGowan’s celebrity continued into the 2010 Super Bowl game in Miami. “If I wanted an opportunity to experience being a rock star, that was it,” he said.
All that is McGowan’s Joker comes with a price.
He begins applying his makeup and costuming around 6:30 a.m. on game day.
“Dressing is so much work,” he said. “But it’s so much fun being the Joker.”
His grandmother taught him the art of cross-stitching and sewing.
“I was probably as young as 4 or 5 years old when my grandmother started crafts with us,” McGowan said. “We grew up on Blackwater Road in Central, and we lived less than 200 yards from her house.”
The costume has magnetism, McGowan said, and he believes Batman’s arch-nemesis brings good luck to the boys in black and gold.
“The more I wore that costume,” he said, “the more we would win until we ended up going 11-1 and, of course, we won the Super Bowl that year.”