Who Dat Talkin Bout Beaten Dem Saints?

I should have bet on the Super Bowl. After all, I did predict the New Orleans Saints would win, 24-20. I also wrote the Saints had a chance if they could protect Drew Brees. That’s pretty much what happened.

Brees has replaced Archie Manning as the city’s most popular sports figure. “Who Dat?” has just taken on a whole new meaning.

The Saints overcame a 10-point first-half deficit to defeat the favored Indianapolis Colts, 31 – 17. In so doing, the Saints won the Super Bowl for the first time in the team’s 43 year history and unleashed a celebration in New Orleans that’s going to last long beyond Mardi Gras…

Drew Brees, named the game’s MVP, was outstanding. He completed 32 of 39 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns. The Saints defense played well too, limiting the Colts to just seven points after the first quarter.  The biggest play of the game involved Saints defensive back Tracy Porter, who intercepted a Peyton Manning pass and returned it 74 yards for a touchdown with 3:12 remaining. The Saints special teams was also strong – placekicker Garrett Hartley connected on field goals of 46-, 44- and 47-yards.

And while the game was ultimately won on the field, gutsy play calling by Saints coach Sean Payton also played a big part in the win. With the Saints trailing 10 – 6 at halftime, Peyton called for an on-side kick to begin the third quarter. The play worked, the Saints took possession at their 42, and six plays later Pierre Thomas scored on a 16-yard screen pass to give the Saints their first lead of the game, 13 – 10. They never looked back.

Of course, as everyone knows, this game was much more than a game to the Saints and the city of New Orleans. Devastated after Hurricane Katrina, the Saints were one of the few positive things the city had going for it. As is often the case with sports, it provides people a diversion from their everyday problems. This couldn’t be more true in the case of the Saints and their fans.

Prior to this season, the Saints had one just two playoff games in the team’s entire existence. For many years, they were among the league’s worst teams – think today’s Detroit Lions – and people referred to them as the “Aints”. But that’s now all forgotten. Brees has replaced Archie Manning as the city’s most popular sports figure. “Who Dat?” has just taken on a whole new meaning.

Related stories:
Drew Brees Vs Peyton Manning: Who’s Going To Win The Super Bowl?
Drew Brees Leads Saints to First Super Bowl Title