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The New Orleans Saints marched into Miami as the underdog in Super Bowl XLIV. They marched out taking football’s biggest prize with them.
I must admit, I was rooting for the Colts, but after watching the game on Sunday night how can you not root for the Saints?
For the last few years, the most memorable images coming out of New Orleans have been ones of devastation and despair. People wondered how long and even if the city would be able to recover.
After Sunday night, New Orleans will now be remembered for a quarterback holding his son and a coach holding a trophy.
The Saints quarterback is Drew Brees who, with tears in his eyes, held on to his son as he celebrated the Saints’ first-ever Super Bowl victory.
Brees, who decided to sign with the Saints after seeing the effects of Hurricane Katrina firsthand, said he could feel the city cheering him and his team to the victory.
I hope that in an age where athletes seem to fall off the pedestal as fast as we place them there, Brees is able to maintain his status as a positive role model.
The New Orleans coach is Sean Payton, who I discovered earlier this year was almost hired to coach football at the University of Kentucky before Rich Brooks was hired.
Payton, like Brees was viewed as a risk when the Saints hired him. The franchise had won only one playoff game before his hiring and many saw the new coach as being too brash and not experienced enough to get the job done.
To those critics I would only say, how do you like Brees and Payton now?
In the duo’s first season in New Orleans, the team made it all the way to the NFC Championship Game before losing to the Chicago Bears. Ironically, the Bears eventually lost to, you guessed it, the Colts in the Super Bowl.
Sometimes when we hear how a team inspires a city or vice versa we shrug and say, sure. In this case, I think it would be true. After listening to the players and the fans talk about what the victory means, it is clear just how special this victory was to both.
As for the Colts, Peyton Manning said repeatedly how disappointing the loss was. I am sure it was, but as always Manning was classy in defeat as he gave credit to the team he grew up watching.
In a game where there was no clear villain, fans were treated to a well-played contest and a couple of funny commercials. I especially liked the one with David Letterman and Jay Leno eating chips and Letterman whining about what a lame party it was. Leno’s comment that his late-night rival was just upset because he was there was clever.
I am sure that it was not the only thing Letterman was upset about after Sunday night. You see the late night funnyman was born in Indianapolis. He along with the rest of the city is sure to be feeling a little bluer after the Colt’s loss in the Super Bowl.
As they say in the Bayou, “Who-Dat?”
Dat is the New Orleans Saints.