FanDuel - WFBC

February 07, 2010

The New Orleans Saints win the Super Bowl: The New Orleans Saints have won Super Bowl XLIV. They beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 at Sun Life Stadium in South Florida. Saints quarterback Drew Brees was 32 of 39 for 288 yards and two touchdowns. But it was the big 75-yard interception return for a touchdown by cornerback Tracy Porter that sealed the deal.

posted by tommytrump to football at 09:54 PM - 93 comments

Congratulations to the Saints and what a game by Brees. 32/39, two touchdowns, no interceptions, rating of 114.5.

posted by aerotive at 10:11 PM on February 07

That was a great game and well deserved win by the Saints.

posted by NoMich at 10:15 PM on February 07

Wow. After hearing all week how the Colts would have their way with the Saints and how Manning could not be stopped, this game had shades of Rams v. Pats back in 2001 (or, perhaps, more recently, Pats v. Giants). Great overall game for the Saints in terms of mix of good and efficient offense that moved the chains (without any of the big plays that characterized this season -- which is a testament to taking what the defense gives you) and very good bend but don't break defense that (obviously) got the timely takeway plus a bit of risk taking and luck.

posted by holden at 10:20 PM on February 07

I was impressed by the officiating. They stayed out of the way and left us all to talk about the game and not whether one call here or there blew the game.

They started to zoom into bourbon street at the end of the game and I was thinking "THAT'S A MISTAKE!". There are at least a few hundred ladies without shirts on that street at the moment.

posted by bdaddy at 10:21 PM on February 07

The Saints give us all hope...if they can win, maybe someday, even the Lions can win...

posted by MeatSaber at 10:25 PM on February 07

Andy why not, meaty? After all, the Cardinals were in the game last year and the Saints were in it this year. Why can't the third of the three most incompetent NFL franchises make it next year?

posted by NoMich at 10:28 PM on February 07

Why can't the third of the three most incompetent NFL franchises make it next year?

Because the Texans called dibs :-)

posted by bdaddy at 10:30 PM on February 07

But they've been inept for only a few years as opposed to the generations that the Cards, Saints and Lions have been.

posted by NoMich at 10:36 PM on February 07

On Bourbon street. If I don't make it out alive, what a game. So happy for the
city of New Orleans.

posted by justgary at 10:40 PM on February 07

The Browns gotta be in there before the Texans, as well...

posted by MeatSaber at 10:41 PM on February 07

Congratulations Saints, really enjoyed watching the game!

posted by skydivemom at 10:42 PM on February 07

I was cheering for the Colts (Manning fan), but in reality I wouldn't have cared if New Orleans won.

A good game by everyone involved. Too bad Manning's single mistake of the entire playoffs came at the worst time.

Also, if Indy scores that last meaningless touchdown (and extra point), I win the party total points pool. Stupid butterfingers receiver cost me $80!

posted by grum@work at 10:44 PM on February 07

The only part of the win I didn't like and was not looking forward to even before the game (hoping that the Saints would win) was seeing and hearing Tom Benson up on the podium.

There was a fairly obvious block in the back during Tracy Porter's run back on the pick six that wasn't called, but missed calls happen all the time.

Manning had a strange look about him for much of the game. Sitting on the bench looking up from under his ballcap, he looked like Chucky II. He was red and swollen in the neck and face on and off the field and just generally didn't seem like his usual self. Two weeks of being immortalized by the media must have boosted his blood pressure.

Looking back at the Colts' 2009 schedule, I think it's fair to say that the Saints were the best team they played all year.

Len Dawson looked great doing the cozy walk to the podium with the Lombardi Trophy. My man. I still treasure my youthful memories of SB IV.

posted by beaverboard at 10:49 PM on February 07

Gutsy call to go with the on-side kick to start the 2nd half. Too bad they never give the MVP to the coach, I think he deserved it!

Two H.O.F. QB's make ill-advised throws in the 4th quarter of consecutive games, and the Saints capitalize on both.

Good thing I don't have access to a bookie as I would have bet the over on this game for sure.

posted by dviking at 10:52 PM on February 07

What a game. Phenomenal watch, although I'll admit I had the best of it, being the only person cheering for the Saints in the apartment where I enjoyed the festivities. Congrats to them.

posted by boredom_08 at 11:11 PM on February 07

Oh, and for god's sake, don't anybody let Garret Hartley board a commercial flight anytime soon.

That boy's got a bomb sewn into his breeches.

posted by beaverboard at 11:12 PM on February 07

But they've been inept for only a few years as opposed to the generations that the Cards, Saints and Lions have been.

Not if you go back to the Oilers.

posted by bdaddy at 11:17 PM on February 07

That was a great game but it will probably end up being only the third most memorable, for me anyway, game of the playoffs, after the NFC Championship and the Green Bay vs. Arizona games.

posted by tron7 at 11:26 PM on February 07

Congratulations to the Saints for a solid win in the Super Bowl. As a Vikings fan I well never feel that the Saints deserved to be there, but they outplayed the Colts and deserved to win. They showed a lot of strength coming back after being down 10-0, and the onside kick to open the second half was one of the ballsiest plays I've ever seen in the Super Bowl.

posted by kirkaracha at 12:41 AM on February 08

Wow.

posted by irunfromclones at 01:07 AM on February 08

Crushed

posted by Goyoucolts at 02:48 AM on February 08

Not if you go back to the Oilers.

Can't. Oilers moved to Tennessee. Texans are brand new.

posted by bobfoot at 03:05 AM on February 08

Congratulations to the Saints and New Orleans, a city worth fighting for. I thought the Colts would win, but I am glad to see a game where the refs stayed out of the way.

posted by Newbie Walker at 03:10 AM on February 08

The Falcons have got to have some consideration as one of the three most inept franchises in NFL history. No back-to-back winning seasons in their history until this year?

posted by outonleave at 05:33 AM on February 08

Both the Falcons and the Oilers/Titans have been to a Super Bowl. They are out of the running.

posted by NoMich at 06:16 AM on February 08

I watched the game in Bangkok at a restaurant named Bourbon Street, 6:30 am, three rooms filled, maybe 300 people, Lot's of jerseys and Who Dats!!!!.....New Orleans has love around the world. Drew Brees is much more than a football hero, he is an example for all. Congratulations to the Saints and the MVP.

posted by gfinsf at 06:32 AM on February 08

Congratulations to the Saints! i think i held my breath for the entire second half...Whew!

posted by yzelda4045 at 07:45 AM on February 08

I was driving 3 1/2 hours in snow/sleet from my Army Reserve gig when the game was on, and I couldn't even track the game for a full quarter because I didn't have enough of a charge on the battery of my laptop. I got home barely in time to see the last interception ran for a touch by the Saints defense. Gotta admit, they deserved to win this; based on that one play alone, it was as if they had an answer for almost anything Manning did.

posted by NerfballPro at 08:05 AM on February 08

Does anyone else think the Saints sideline was lucky to avoid a flag in the onside kick pileup? That was an epic battle, but there's something unfair about letting coaches and sideline players inject themselves into the denouement.

posted by rcade at 08:07 AM on February 08

The Saints really know when to get an interception. Good for them - I'm glad they won. I just don't want to hear any more talk about how this somehow solves all of New Orleans (the city)'s problems.

posted by fabulon7 at 08:57 AM on February 08

I just don't want to hear any more talk about how this somehow solves all of New Orleans (the city)'s problems.

The way I see it, this was like giving candy to a sick child, not medicine. I agree the city needed this win, but it doesn't solve all their problems. The rebuild still has a long way to go.

The overall context makes for a nice story, but nothing beyond that.

posted by NerfballPro at 09:22 AM on February 08

Woo Hoo! My Saints column only ended up being two years early!

posted by The_Black_Hand at 09:28 AM on February 08

Does anyone else think the Saints sideline was lucky to avoid a flag in the onside kick pileup? That was an epic battle, but there's something unfair about letting coaches and sideline players inject themselves into the denouement.

I was VERY surprised the Saints bench didn't get a penalty for that. If even ONE of the guys on the sideline touched the pile, that should have brought down yellow flags and 15 yard penalties.

Still, that was a hell of a pile-up/fight/struggle for a while there. I did not pity the guys at the bottom of the pile. Some of them will probably have to visit a psychologist to recover from the trauma they endured...

Gotta admit, they deserved to win this; based on that one play alone, it was as if they had an answer for almost anything Manning did.

If that's the only play you saw, then you don't know what you are talking about.

He had one less completion than Brees, but way more yards. The 96 yard march down the field in the first half proved that Manning was still a force to fear.

posted by grum@work at 09:31 AM on February 08

I was thinking "THAT'S A MISTAKE!". There are at least a few hundred ladies without shirts on that street at the moment

Could you explain why that would be a mistake?

Good thing I don't have access to a bookie as I would have bet Um, you should be so fortunate ...

Too bad they never give the MVP to the coach Fantastic coaching job. The gambles, the TOP control and keeping Indy's offense off the field.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:47 AM on February 08

Could you explain why that would be a mistake?

Because CBS was originally fined $550,000 for showing one boob back in 2004. At $1.1 million per pair, one ill-advised Bourbon Street closeup could bankrupt the company.

posted by rcade at 10:52 AM on February 08

Not if you go back to the Oilers.

Can't. Oilers moved to Tennessee. Texans are brand new.

Same can be said for the Browns, as the original team are now the Ravens, who won a Super Bowl after all.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:16 PM on February 08

After watching the game I tried to understand when the Colts lost it, which was difficult for me to do (sure, the INT out things away but that's not what I mean). Manning and the offense always looked like they were scoring on the next play, except that next play never really came. And their D was just as tough but Brees and crew found a way past it.

Another question: why is PManning liked so little and, given that, how come he gets so many commercials?

Strange game, happy result.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:19 PM on February 08

Same can be said for the Browns, as the original team are now the Ravens, who won a Super Bowl after all.

Because the new Browns inherited the old Browns records, they inherited the decades of postseason futility and can thus be mocked for never winning a bowl in so long.

Speaking of which, the Colts were tempting fate by using longtime Brown Matt Stover as their kicker.

posted by rcade at 12:52 PM on February 08

Fantastic game. I loved the onside kick call, truly a ballsy move by Payton.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 01:19 PM on February 08

Manning and the offense always looked like they were scoring on the next play, except that next play never really came. And their D was just as tough but Brees and crew found a way past it.

I think the Saints empitomize the bend don't break defense. They held the Colts to fields goals (one of which they missed) in key situations. And Sean Payton coached a great game. Going for it on 4th and 1 (which failed, but did effectively stymie Peyton because either he or his coach refused to take risks which gave the ball back to the Saints who kicked a field goal) and kicking the on-side kick was playing to win.

why is PManning liked so little and, given that, how come he gets so many commercials?

I was REALLY pulling for the Saints. And I'm glad they won. Yet when I watched Peyton after the game, I couldn't help think, what a class act. He was calm, cool and collected. He answered the questions honestly and gave the Saints their due as well as owning the interception.

He is the antithesis of Favre, and for that reason alone, I can't help but admire him.

posted by cjets at 01:31 PM on February 08

And, by the way, how about moving the Super Bowl to Saturday night?

The one less day won't matter and we can be recovering at home instead of at work. Either that, or let's make the monday after Super Bowl a holiday (maybe combine it with President's day).

posted by cjets at 02:18 PM on February 08

Another question: why is PManning liked so little and, given that, how come he gets so many commercials?

This has a lot to do with the culture of sports in the US is my guess. Peyton Manning is like the original Terminator: you might be able to appreciate his ruthless skill and even think of him as "likable". But in the end he's the enemy.

I was rooting for New Orleans and I happen to be a Patriots fan, but I'm in the camp of people who wouldn't have been heartbroken if Manning had won. I can appreciate and admire his competence and style. I do think he's a class act, and in his "crossover" appearances (commercials, SNL) he tends to be one of the few sports folks who don't make me cringe when he's onscreen.

posted by jeremias at 02:36 PM on February 08

Another question: why is PManning liked so little and, given that, how come he gets so many commercials?

I always thought Manning seemed like a funny and likeable on-camera guy except when he's actually playing football. When he's on the field (or sideline) he always looks like he's going to throw a massive hissy fit. He never smiles. He freaks out on teammates.

No one really talked about the Saints' defense much going into the playoffs, but they made Warner, Favre and Manning all look mediocre or worse. They deserve more credit in this, I think.

posted by fabulon7 at 02:38 PM on February 08

After watching him beat the Jags once or twice a year for the past decade, I've become a fan of Manning. His histrionics before the snap are amusing, at least until you discover the play he changed was incredibly effective at picking apart your team's defense. And nobody's better at picking apart a blitz.

One of the bigger heroes of the Super Bowl was second-year kicker Garrett Hartley of the Saints. He hit three field goals of 44 yards or longer -- a Super Bowl record. The first two kept the Saints in the game the first half, and the third brought the Saints to 17-16 down and kept them from giving the ball back to Peyton Manning at midfield with 2:01 left in the quarter.

posted by rcade at 03:00 PM on February 08

...why is PManning liked so little...

First the disclaimer: I am a Patriots fan through and through, so my dislike for P. Manning (and the entire family) runs deep.

Now for reasons to dislike him:

1. He was nowhere near a top quarterback until the Polian-induced rule changes prevented teams from playing physical pass defense. True that Manning was and still is very skilled in avoiding sacks by running out of the pocket and throwing the ball away, but the rules changes seemed to help his game more than any other QB.

2. When he lost in the "big" games, he had a tendency to blame someone else (offensive line, receivers, etc.). It was all about him, not the team.

3. His face was everywhere, and you could get very tired of seeing him. To give credit, he has the acting skill to make a good and amusing commercial, but do we really have to see him in what seems like 40 or more 30-second spots per hour?

OK, rant over, now for some honest (?) thoughts: As the game drew to a close, and the Saints appeared certain of victory, I got out the crackers and cheese in anticipation of getting another fine "whine" from Mr. Manning. As he had in the game, Peyton failed to deliver what I expected. Instead of a whine, we heard congratulations to the opponent, and nothing of "I was great but my team sucked". It is entirely possible that Manning has grown up. The absence of a certain former head coach might have something to do with this (it's conjecture on my part, but does anyone else have this opinion?), but there now appears to be a certain maturity to the man. He certainly could have lined up a number of his team mates to perform inspections of the undersides of public transportation vehicles in motion, but he did not. It's very possible that his new coach has gotten the message across that this is a team, and public criticism is not allowed. If that is true, Manning is to be praised for getting the message. I'll give the devil his due and say that last night Mr. Manning was very gracious in defeat. Maybe I'll tolerate one extra commercial now.

posted by Howard_T at 04:57 PM on February 08

In a nutshell for me is that the Colts just seemed too conservative and the Saints were playing like it was their last game. I think in the Super Big Game you need to have a bit of the "Let it all hang out" philosophy. Sure, it's a risky gamble, but like they say in Vegas, to win big you have to play big. You might get destroyed or you might rip the heart out of your opponent. The Colts seem to have lost their heart for some of that game. Maybe they lost some of it back when they didn't try for the season perfecto. Who knows; all monday morning QB/coach/sports show analyst at this point.

As far as Peyton is concerned, I used to hate the dude. He had a habit of looking like a 12 year old kid who was on the verge of tears when things didn't go his way on the field. Somewhere along the line he seemed to have grown up a bit and transferred his "youthful" behavior into an on-air persona that might make him a lot of bread when he finally does retire. I like the guy nowdays.

posted by THX-1138 at 06:07 PM on February 08

I'm all for moving the game to Saturday as well. Traditions be damned, it's time for a change!

posted by dviking at 07:37 PM on February 08

My tequila hangover and I both think a Saturday game would be great.

posted by tahoemoj at 08:05 PM on February 08

I really think the Saints were a little tight to begin with, lacking the Colts experience. At 10-0 the game was on the brink. The saints withstood the early rally, relaxed, and it wasn't close after that: 31-7.

As a Vikings fan I well never feel that the Saints deserved to be there...
posted by kirkaracha

Who deserved to be there more? The Saints that played poorly in the championship game? Or the Vikings that played worse? I understand lamenting the fact that your team sucked in the biggest game of the year; I've been there many times. But claiming 'the saints don't deserve to be there' is just sour grapes and nothing more.

I really had no opinion on the Colts coming into the game, but I was impressed by their comments after the game. While the Vikings, from what I saw, gave NO credit to the Saints, despite Favre looking like he was 90 by the end of the game, the Colts seemed to go out of their way to credit the Saints. The Colts made mistakes, and I'm sure Manning thinks he gifted that interception, but he did nothing but give credit to Porter.

They lost with class, which is a lot more than i can say for the Vikings (and many of their fans). The Saints beat 3 (possible) hall of fame quarterbacks. The deserve everything they've won.

I just don't want to hear any more talk about how this somehow solves all of New Orleans (the city)'s problems.
posted by fabulon7

The overall context makes for a nice story, but nothing beyond that.
posted by NerfballPro

Assuming that someone, somewhere is saying the victory solves all New Orleans' problems (I was there for two days for the super bowl and never heard this once; it would be great if you could point to where someone actually said this), they're obviously mistaken. But make no mistake, the victory is a huge morale boost. The people that are rebuilding the city, the people that work their every day, are going to be building and working with a little hop in their step into the near future.

It's going to take money, energy, and action to help rebuild the city, but to say that it's 'nothing beyond' a nice story, is complete nonsense. You could not be more wrong.

He had one less completion than Brees, but way more yards.
posted by grum@work

And to be fair, it took 6 more attempts.

posted by justgary at 09:22 PM on February 08

But claiming 'the saints don't deserve to be there' is just sour grapes and nothing more.

I don't think it's sour grapes to acknowledge that the Vikings gave that game away. I was rooting for the Saints in that game and I think the Vikings were probably the better team. It could have been phrased better I guess but I understand the sentiment.

I guess the scoreboard would suggest that the Saints were the better team but if the Vikings win the OT coin toss are they back to being the better team again despite the gaffs?

posted by tron7 at 09:57 PM on February 08

1 turnover and 8 total penalties. Was this the cleanest game of the year? It sure felt like it.

posted by tron7 at 10:01 PM on February 08

I don't think it's sour grapes to acknowledge that the Vikings gave that game away. I was rooting for the Saints in that game and I think the Vikings were probably the better team. It could have been phrased better I guess but I understand the sentiment.

I think we've (meaning sportsfilter) had this discussion before, so I'll just write this and then we'll agree to disagree.

I believe claiming a team doesn't deserve a victory because of poor play on another teams part is the very definition of sour grapes. Winning is equally about not making mistakes as it is about making plays. The Vikings have themselves to blame for their own bad play.

If you play that poorly, it's fine to believe you gave the game away. It's claiming the other team doesn't deserve it that is sour grapes. Sure, that's a fine line, but I believe in that line.

And it has nothing to do with who the best team is. Honestly, I believe the colts were the better team. I'm sure the Colts believe that also. If Manning doesn't make a mistake maybe the Colts win. But mistakes are part of the game.

but if the Vikings win the OT coin toss are they back to being the better team again despite the gaffs?

1. Of course not, unless they score. Are you assuming they score? Because you can't possibly know that.

2. You seem stuck on who the better team is/was. The better team often doesn't win. That the better team loses because of mistakes doesn't mean the other team doesn't deserve the victory. If the better team makes so many mistakes they lose, it's THAT team that doesn't deserve to win.

I was impressed by the Colts answers after the game. I'm sure they believe they're the better team, but they were gracious in defeat. I respect that, much more than whining. That's just how I roll.

posted by justgary at 10:20 PM on February 08

Instead of a whine, we heard congratulations to the opponent, and nothing of "I was great but my team sucked". It is entirely possible that Manning has grown up.

Or not. (Okay, at least not right away.)

posted by BoKnows at 10:34 PM on February 08

More on manning skipping the handshake.

posted by justgary at 10:50 PM on February 08

justgary...what statements made by the Vikings are you alluding to?
I don't remember any statements made by players other than to bad officiating (which was supported by the league).

Sure, there was the whole discussion regarding that last touchdown in the drubbing of the Cowboys, most of it on sites like this as opposed to from the actual palyers, but not regarding the Saints game. I suggest you let that loss to the Vikings go...I think the Cowboys have.

As to the topic of people giving this game way too much meaning, I think it's mainly been over-the-top media types more than anything else. I heard someone talking of this being a renaissance for the city. Having lived in several cities that won major championships, I know that the euphoria fades quickly. With the Olympics starting, the sports page will move on, and with Mardi Gras the city will move on. Enjoy the celebration, they won the Super Bowl!

posted by dviking at 11:06 PM on February 08

The Saints also had a great ball hawking defense. They were second in the NFL this year with 39 takeaways (1 off the league lead) and led the league with eight defensive TDs.

And regardless of how much of a gift Peyton's pass was, Porter had a great return to score. It looked like some of the colts had the angle on him around the fifty (?) then he made that great cut up the middle and he was gone.

posted by cjets at 11:31 PM on February 08

I believe claiming a team doesn't deserve a victory because of poor play on another teams part is the very definition of sour grapes.

No matter how it is phrased, it's possible to watch two teams play and feel like the winner got lucky and would lose more often than not if they played 10 times. That's how I felt after the Vikings-Saints game. It seemed to me that the Saints needed some unforced errors to win the game and the Vikings had plenty of reasons to feel like they gave one away.

If I was a Vikings fan, I'd put that game high on the list of reasons I drink.

As for the bowl, the Saints outplayed the Colts for three quarters and made some gut-check plays like that onside kick. Though I expected a Colts blowout, I think the right team won.

posted by rcade at 11:44 PM on February 08

what statements made by the Vikings are you alluding to?

Almost every comment I heard by the Vikings was a riff on 'we gave the game away' with no credit to the saints. Which is fine. I prefer the Colts style.

I suggest you let that loss to the Vikings go...I think the Cowboys have.

I didn't bring up the vikings loss. Someone else did.

With the Olympics starting, the sports page will move on, and with Mardi Gras the city will move on.

I take it you haven't spent much time in new orleans.

posted by justgary at 11:45 PM on February 08

No matter how it is phrased, it's possible to watch two teams play and feel like the winner got lucky and would lose more often than not if they played 10 times.

So, that said, was the 1980 USA Olympic hockey team less deserving of the win because the USSR would've beat them 95% of the time?

posted by BoKnows at 11:48 PM on February 08

It seemed to me that the Saints needed some unforced errors to win the game and the Vikings had plenty of reasons to feel like they gave one away.

Again, and maybe I drank too much, but I'll try once again:

It's not believing you gave the game away that I'm talking about; I think most teams that go into a game favored and lose believe they gave the game away. It's the constant harping on giving the game away without giving any credit. Someone knocked favre on his ass constantly, and someone kicked a high pressure field goal that won the game. The saints deserved to win the game at the very least because the vikings played so badly. If the saints didn't deserve it, well, the vikings deserved it less.

(this is ignoring the whole overtime coin toss, which I agree is BS, but has nothing to do with the saints.)

posted by justgary at 11:52 PM on February 08

Did the USSR outplay Team USA in the actual game? I'm talking about judging what we saw when the teams faced each other, not whether they were the seemingly better team in other games.

posted by rcade at 11:52 PM on February 08

If the saints didn't deserve it, well, the vikings deserved it less.

The Vikings had a jaw-dropping 218-yard differential in that game over the Saints. If Favre had the sense to run a few yards and let his kicker kick instead of throwing that stupid pass, they win the game.

If you want to say that the winner of a game always deserves the result, fine. That logic seems awfully convenient to me, though. Sometimes the team that plays better in more facets of a game wins, and sometimes it loses. If the NFC Championship was replayed a week later with the same players in the same condition, would you have bet on the Saints?

posted by rcade at 11:59 PM on February 08

Did the USSR outplay Team USA in the actual game?

The Soviets outshot the Americans 39-16, a significant indicator that the Soviets carried the majority of the play.

posted by tommytrump at 12:04 AM on February 09

1. Of course not, unless they score. Are you assuming they score? Because you can't possibly know that.

Well, we were already in What If Land with the coin toss so I thought I'd go ahead and assume they scored. You know, just like the Packers were rolling and won that coin flip and marched the fiel... oh, wait. Anyway, my point is it's an awfully thin line between deserving and not deserving to win that game. So I don't see it as sour grapes or poor losering if someone feels the Vikings are more deserving.

The better team often doesn't win.

I know, and it's a shame. I was trying to substitute 'better team' for 'deserving team' but I'm not sure that's correct anymore. You seem to suggest that 'deserving team' equals 'winning team' and I'm not sure I agree with that either.

posted by tron7 at 12:04 AM on February 09

Brees started off 3 for 7. He finished the rest of the game 29 of 32. Of those 3 incompletions, 1 was a dropped pass and the other was an intentional spike to stop the clock. What an amazing performance.

And Manning had the most glaring mistake of the night, but how different would the game turn out if Stover makes his 51 yard kick? Or Caldwell doesn't call FG to begin with? Or Manning converts on 3-12 (I can't remember who dropped the ball, but it hit the hands as I recall)? Or Wayne makes it a 7 point game with 44 seconds left? Who knows from there? The Colts could've recovered a kick themselves and tied it.

All in all, an amazing game from a neutral point of view.

posted by Ricardo at 12:06 AM on February 09

I take it you haven't spent much time in new orleans

Actually, I've spent a lot of time in N.O. . Over the past 16 years I've been there dozens of times. I went with 20 of my workers in the weeks after katrina to help out. I have spent time there with both my own company and with Habitat for Humanity. We rebuilt several homes, two parks and did numerous site cleanups. I was there again in the fall of 2008 to help install playground equipment that an organization I'm involved with purchased. At that time we also painted several schools, and helped relocate a nursing home. By a conservative estimate (and looking at a few years' worth of tax returns) I've donated $12,000 and about 300 hours to help that city. The city did treat us to a very nice reception...on the Saints' field!

My business dealings have taken me there for several weeks at a stretch multiple times, and I visit the city numerous times each year, so don't be condensending you may not know of what you speak.

Every city that wins a championship has a party, a parade, gives the key to the city to a player/coach, and then they move on. I seriously this will be much different. The sports page will most definitely move on...the Olympics, followed by March Madness, and baseball will ensure that.

As to comments made by the Vikings...I think you're quoting what fans said more than what the Vikings said. I don't necessarily speak for Brett Favre.

posted by dviking at 12:11 AM on February 09

No matter how it is phrased, it's possible to watch two teams play and feel like the winner got lucky and would lose more often than not if they played 10 times.

I'm talking about judging what we saw when the teams faced each other, not whether they were the seemingly better team in other games.

I guess I'm lost then. Your first response was an example involving multiple games. The second contradicting the first.

(I don't know why all this last part is bold.)

posted by BoKnows at 12:11 AM on February 09

If you want to say that the winner of a game always deserves the result, fine.

Deserves it more than the loser, yep. I don't see how anything else is even possible (ignoring official decisions).

If the NFC Championship was replayed a week later, would you have bet on the Saints?

That's a difficult question that I can't answer. I think the Saints played a terrible game. I think their offense wasn't clicking. And I don't think it was all because of the Vikings defense.

You can point to the Vikings mistakes because they were glaring. They played well except for a number of plays. The saints were overall awful. So it seems, as you said, convenient to point to the Vikings mistakes, but ignore that the Saints overall played awful or at the very least give the credit to the Vikings.

If the Vikings and Saints played 10 times I don't know who would win the most times, but I think the saints are a much better team than they showed in that one game.

You seem to suggest that 'deserving team' equals 'winning team' and I'm not sure I agree with that either.

I don't know if always. But it seems we're using stats as a scoreboard. The vikings had better stats, so they should win. In this game, at critical times, the vikings also made critical mistakes, forced or not. The saints made enough plays to win. I think they deserved it more than a team that constantly made mistakes, even if it was an ugly, luck involved win.

posted by justgary at 12:22 AM on February 09

My business dealings have taken me there for several weeks at a stretch multiple times, and I visit the city numerous times each year, so don't be condensending you may not know of what you speak.

Okay, stated plainly, I don't think you could be more wrong.

New Orleans is a small city, with no baseball team, only recently a basketball team, no huge college following, that has always been Saints obsessed. All year long, even when they sucked. This is ignoring what happened after the hurricane, which if you want to believe doesn't affect any of this, so be it.

I don't believe comparing New Orleans to other cities means anything. Do you think baseball has a bigger hold on boston or tampa?

Indy had 11 people greet the team at the airport. The saints already had a parade planned win or lose. If you believe new orleans will simply move on, I disagree so vehemently, to put it lightly, that I'm just going to bow out of that discussion.

posted by justgary at 12:34 AM on February 09

If the Vikings and Saints played 10 times I don't know who would win the most times, but I think the saints are a much better team than they showed in that one game.

I agree, the Saints played a terrible game against the Vikings -- Brees was pulling an Eli (sailing the ball over receivers' heads), the receivers had bad dropsies, and the defense was, despite being opportunistic on turnovers, getting killed on some plays they should have been shutting down (like on the drive where Favre went to Shiancoe again and again and the Saints did not adjust). The Saints were fortunate to have won that game, but by no means were/are the Vikings head-and-shoulders above the Saints.

I actually thought the Super Bowl would be very close because it seemed everyone was basically looking at the immediately preceding game that each team played and forecasting a Colts blowout because of it, all the while ignoring the fact that the Saints were exceptional on offense and very good on defense all season long. Not to mention that the Saints dominated the two common opponents both they and the Colts had that were any good (New England, Jets) in a way the Colts did not. I think the Saints, Vikings, and Colts were all very close and were clearly in the top tier of the NFL this season, and any of them could have won it all had things played out differently. But any talk (and I'm not saying that I've seen it here) that the Saints got lucky to beat the Colts or that the Vikings should have been there and would have been victorious instead is to give the Saints short shrift on a season in which they really dominated, even if they did finish poorly and have a squeaker in the playoffs.

posted by holden at 12:45 AM on February 09

If you want to say that the winner of a game always deserves the result, fine. That logic seems awfully convenient to me, though. Sometimes the team that plays better in more facets of a game wins, and sometimes it loses. If the NFC Championship was replayed a week later with the same players in the same condition, would you have bet on the Saints?

Yes, because they were the number one seed, playing at home and had just played a subpar game.

As long as we're going to look at something other than the actual score of the game, why not look at the full season? The Saints were the number one seed with a better record than the Vikings.

posted by cjets at 12:54 AM on February 09

The sports page will most definitely move on...seriously you're not debating that.

As to the city, it will move on too. The euphoria of a Super Bowl win doesn't pay bills, nor clean up parks, nor stop crime, or rebuild homes...the things that city needs. It's new mayor may be a step in the right direction, and I think he'll leave a far more lasting mark on the city. The people I know on a professional basis are in the service industries (hotel/restaurants/suppliers) and they're already past Mardi Gras in their planning. Many of them are locals and they're excited, but none speak of any great change due to this. It's a feel good moment, reality will have a way of creeping back into play. I'll check back with them in a couple of months and see if anything they say changes my mind. I'm there again in March, so I'll check it out.

BTW, your comment about N.O. not having a college following makes me wonder if you've spent much time there. Tulane, Loyola, & U. of N.O. all have their fan bases, and while LSU is a bit up the road, it gets big time play there.

posted by dviking at 01:38 AM on February 09

or that the Vikings should have been there and would have been victorious instead is to give the Saints short shrift on a season in which they really dominated

Agreed. And I've read two sports writers tonight throwing around the idea that the colts gave the game away. Amazing.

From SI:

"That was the difference in the game,'' Polian said. "The onside kick was the turning point, and along with that, not being able to get a yard on third-and-one is what really cost us. Those were two plays in our control, and we didn't make them. Today, they were the better team. They deserved to win.'' Just as the Colts deserved to lose.

Polian could have added the interception as another turning point. That makes 3 game differences that I could easily point to as colt mistakes (bad coaching, bad 3rd down call, but throw), and yet he also says the Saints deserved to win. And they did.

As bad as the Saints played against the Vikings they only turned the ball over once to the vikings 5 times. The takeaway differential is always huge. If you give the ball away 5 times, YOU deserve to lose.

posted by justgary at 02:25 AM on February 09

BTW, your comment about N.O. not having a college following makes me wonder if you've spent much time there. Tulane, Loyola, & U. of N.O. all have their fan bases, and while LSU is a bit up the road, it gets big time play there.

I didn't say those schools didn't have a following. I said they didn't have a huge following. And they don't. LSU, yes. But it's not a New Orleans team. College sports does not unify New Orleans as the saints do. Not even in the same ballpark.

The euphoria of a Super Bowl win doesn't pay bills, nor clean up parks, nor stop crime, or rebuild homes...the things that city needs.

Did anyone say that? Did I say that? Is anyone dumb enough to believe winning the super bowl will stop crime? Who are you having this discussion with? It's like you're creating opinions out of thin air just so you can argue with them.

The people I know on a professional basis are in the service industries (hotel/restaurants/suppliers) and they're already past Mardi Gras in their planning.

I have no idea what this means or proves. I would have asked the cooks, and waiters, and hotel clerks myself last night but they were too busy dancing on tables.

reality will have a way of creeping back into play.

What reality? That they're are still problems? They know that. They never thought otherwise. That's what you don't understand. The victory is more important because of the problems.

I'll check back with them in a couple of months and see if anything they say changes my mind. I'm there again in March, so I'll check it out.

Look dviking. As someone that's lived on the gulf coast my entire life, went to school right outside of new orleans, and got married in new orleans, I know the win was huge. I know most of the residents of New Orleans and the gulf coast believe that also. Does it solve everything? No, of course not, and no one is claiming so. But it's a huge morale boost for a city that has had very little good news for a very long time. A city that very well could have lost their football team after katrina. A city that was almost wiped off the map, now has a super bowl winner, and that's incredible and inspiring.

I'm not saying sports aren't important elsewhere. But to using championships in other cities as a comparison without acknowledging that what New Orleans has been through makes their situation unique seems shockingly shortsighted.

I don't believe you have a clue about the city of new orleans, and the idea that you're going to use sporadic business trips to see if it 'changes your opinion', that because you take trips to the area you know better than those that live there, have lived there, that are everywhere giving their thoughts on what the victory means to the city, the entire gulf coast, is insulting. So I'm done with this. I'm too happy to argue with you, and I'd rather celebrate.

Laissez les bon temps roulez.

posted by justgary at 03:35 AM on February 09

Laissez les bon temps roulez.

Let the good times roll indeed.

posted by BornIcon at 09:28 AM on February 09

I guess I'm lost then. Your first response was an example involving multiple games.

Talking about who wins if they played 10 times is about how they match up against each other. Talking about who is the better team overall factors in their previous games that season against other opponents.

My whole point on the Vikings boils down to that 218-yard total yardage differential -- the biggest for a losing team in NFL playoff history.

LSU, yes. But it's not a New Orleans team.

I don't know New Orleans, but I would think that LSU is huge there because Baton Rouge is so close. They're an SEC powerhouse in national championship contention most years.

As for your premise that this win is enormous to the city and the surrounding Gulf Coast, I agree wholeheartedly. Some championships matter more than others to a region. Some teams are remembered longer than others. Because of the recent history of New Orleans and the 43 years of futility of the franchise, I think these Saints will be as storied as the 1985 Bears.

posted by rcade at 09:59 AM on February 09

justgary, my point was, and still is, that the people throwing out terms like renaissance were way over the top. Just heard another media type claim that now this will give the citizens of New Orleans the national respect they deserve...That's the drivel I'm talking about. If you're saying that it will be a moral boost, sure I'll buy that. Just don't think it will make a difference a few months down the road. Life moves on.

that because you take trips to the area you know better than those that live there Never said that, and you know it. Besides, I see you found it convienent to not mention the humanitarian work I've done in the city. Working with the folks to rebuild those areas taught me a lot about the city, and it's people. So, perhaps you could stop being insulting as well.

LSU is huge in N.O., and Tulane has a large, loyal fan base as well.

posted by dviking at 10:43 AM on February 09

My whole point on the Vikings boils down to that 218-yard total yardage differential -- the biggest for a losing team in NFL playoff history.

That stat in no way determines who was more deserving of the NFC Championship trophy. I do agree that there are games in which one team is superior in all facets. I agree that the Vikings could have beat them Saints without all the fumbles/INTs, just the same as I believe the USSR could have beat the US more times out of ten. I disagree that any of those are reason enough to suggest the Saints or the US was less deserving of their wins.

(Your response was directed at this:

I believe claiming a team doesn't deserve a victory because of poor play on another teams part is the very definition of sour grapes.

If I have misconstrued your comment then I apologize.)

posted by BoKnows at 12:45 PM on February 09

I don't know New Orleans, but I would think that LSU is huge there because Baton Rouge is so close. They're an SEC powerhouse in national championship contention most years.

LSU is the only college that can even remotely be brought into the discussion (tulane draws an average of 1,500 fans at basketball games, the local minor league baseball team draws more). But their influence pales in comparison to the saints.

New Orleans is, for the most part, a poor city, many never leave the city (which is why it was so difficult to return when they were forced to leave by katrina). They're not identifying with a college an hour and a half away that they've never seen. The LSU fan base is certainly well represented, not denying that. It also is nothing compared to the Saints fan base; it doesn't rule the city like the saints do, and no one in New Orleans would claim so.

LSU winning the title would be welcomed, of course. But the feeling in new orleans wouldn't be 'our LSU' as it it is with 'our saints'. LSU has a lot of fans in New Orleans. New Orleans considers the Saints their team. There's a difference.

posted by justgary at 01:00 PM on February 09

New Orleans Saints have a special bond with their fans What has happened in New Orleans since 2005 -- but especially this year -- is the very best that professional team sports can be. It's not the NFL championship. It's the potential of a franchise to help an entire city experience the values that are so special to teams -- the sense of belonging, of family, of commitment, of sharing joy -- as well as sorrow.

Parade's gonna be televised on the NFL network if anyone is interested.

posted by justgary at 01:40 PM on February 09

One other thing about New Orleans and Saints fandom (and I am a native Louisianian, although BTR, not NO) -- it is probably the one team in all the major cities in which I have lived in or around (Boston, Chicago and London being the others) that really has a high level of support across all races and all socioeconomic classes and for which the games are heavily attended by people from all those walks of life. So there is a unifying element of the Saints for the people of New Orleans that is truly unique. The city will cherish this one and revel in it for a long time, and I truly believe that it will bring some intangible benefit (however big or small) to the city's recovery and continued vitality in a manner that would not occur elsewhere.

posted by holden at 03:39 PM on February 09

(tulane draws an average of 1,500 fans at basketball games, the local minor league baseball team draws more).

I'll bet that Women's volleyball isn't much of a draw either, just not sure what the basketball or volleyball attendence numbers have to do with this discussion.

Tulane's football games draw well over 20,000 most weeks, with 28,000 not uncommon. The Tulane UAB game I took in 6 or 7 years ago had a crazy crowd of Green Wave fans in attendence, very fun crowd!

posted by dviking at 03:49 PM on February 09

I was rooting for the Vikings to go to and win the Superbowl mainly to see Favre do something great to end his career. That said, no team that makes it to the Superbowl and wins, is not deserving. It always takes skill, perseverance, and some luck to do it. The Saints were the NFC no 1 seed and frankly I couldn't understand why so many people felt the Colts were a lot better.

This was not the most enjoyable SB for me just because I happened to like both teams a lot and was torn as to who to root for. I certainly would prefer to have a real favorite to root for. In the end I bet on the Saints and the under. Not out of favoritism or sentiment, but because the Colts had their two best defensive players injured ( Sanders and Freeney) also the Colts struggled with mediocre teams all year. They had to come from behind a lot, they rarely scored a lot of points even in victory and frankly the Saints had a better defense, a more well rounded attack, the ability to keep Manning off the field by slowing down the game, and when ever a team has to rely on one player as do the Colts, it doesn't bode well for a championship. The onside kick showed that Sean Payton knew any play that reduces Manning's time with the ball is worth a chance.

If anything the Colts seemed very lucky all season to get to as good a record as they had. Not only did the Saints deserve to win but I think the Vikings would have also beat the Colts. Peyton Manning is my favorite player and a class act but he alone is not enough to say the Colts were a better team.

posted by Atheist at 03:58 PM on February 09

it is probably the one team in all the major cities in which I have lived in or around (Boston, Chicago and London being the others) that really has a high level of support across all races and all socioeconomic classes and for which the games are heavily attended by people from all those walks of life. So there is a unifying element of the Saints for the people of New Orleans that is truly unique.

Excellent point. Even knowing that, walking around the quarter after the game I was struck by the variety of fans celebrating the victory, and celebrating together. The same was true of the parade tonight.

The saints along the gulf coast cross all races, rich and poor, male and female, educated and not, white collar and blue collar, young and old. It's truly impressive.

just not sure what the basketball or volleyball attendence numbers have to do with this discussion.

You disagreed when I said colleges in New Orleans did not have the huge following or impact the Saints had on the city. That's where the discussion came from.

20,000 fans for a division 1 football team is not impressive. In fact, it ranks near the bottom. I have no idea how you find division 1 mens basketball comparable to Women's Volleyball, but drawing crowds less than 2000 is also not impressive.

Tulane is important to New Orleans, and they have a small, enthusiastic fan base. But the school doesn't have anything close to the impact or following the saints have in the city (I don't know anyone that would claim so), and all the numbers just point to that fact.

posted by justgary at 08:49 PM on February 09

Thanks for the link...I wouldn't have guessed that Tulane (25,000+ average) ranked ahead of the following schools in football attendance:
San Diego St.
Northwestern
Colorado St.
UNLV
Washington St.
Tulsa
Marshall
SMU

Those aren't exactly bottom feeder teams, and keep in mind that this past year was one in which some of the games that are big draws for Tulane were on the road (LSU being a huge home game for them drawing 60,000 some years).

My point in bringing volleyball into the discussion was only to show that it had as much bearing on this discussion as basketball does. That is to say, not much. It's a football city, I think we agree on that.

The Saints have a much stronger following than Tulane does, much like the Cowboys have a stronger following than TCU or SMU. I'll grant you that, but to dismiss any of those schools as not have strong followings would be misguided.

posted by dviking at 10:31 PM on February 09

Neither SMU nor TCU deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence as the Cowboys in terms of their impact on Dallas. The Cowboys are the main sports team in the city and are covered almost every night on local sportscasts. TCU and SMU are lucky to get covered once a week.

posted by rcade at 07:53 AM on February 10

Those aren't exactly bottom feeder teams

San Diego St. - have they been relevant since Marshall Faulk graduated?

Northwestern - essentially an Ivy League school

Colorado St. - in the past

UNLV - think they were good in football for a year and who wants to sit outside in the heat?

Washington St. - in the past

Tulsa - ?

Marshall - kind of an odd one in that they've come on in recent years, but it wasn't so long ago they weren't even DI-A

SMU - have they recovered from the 80s?

I get the point you're trying to make, but you're both arguing such a fine degree of difference it seems silly at this point.

posted by yerfatma at 10:27 AM on February 10

ummm, seriously....my line was....The Saints have a much stronger following than Tulane does, much like the Cowboys have a stronger following than TCU or SMU...so if that somehow wasn't clear I apologize. I do not think Tulane or SMU or TCU have as strong of followings as the Saints or Cowboys...everyone feel better?

However, to say that any of those schools..or the others on the list on my prior post...don't have strong, loyal followings is misguided. They all have strong regional followings...especially Tulsa...much as Tulane does.

posted by dviking at 02:39 PM on February 10

I'm a UNT alum. I know SMU well. It's an utter joke to suggest they have a strong regional following. They've drawn as few as 10,000 people to games this decade and like a lot of small-time programs, their games aren't always televised.

posted by rcade at 03:05 PM on February 10

It's a football city, I think we agree on that.

Of course. New Orleans, like much of the south, is a football town.

It is also a pro football town. The colleges you've mentioned have small, enthusiastic fan bases. The saints have a huge fan base made up of most of the city; that was my original point. LSU has a huge following, yes. But they're not thought of as New Orleans' own.

Yerfatma's right, this is getting a little silly. Yesterday during the parade an announcer said that 'rooting for the saints wasn't much different than rooting for the city'. That puts it perfectly for me. New Orleans is a Saints town, period. Surely we can agree on that.

If the Saints had left it would have been devastating to the city; the same could not be said of any other sports team in new orleans.

posted by justgary at 04:44 PM on February 10

New Orleans Saints Super Bowl parade crowd was largest in memory, organizer says

---

Fans are grateful for more than just the team's on-field performance. Many members of "who dat" nation credit the team with uniting a city that has struggled with racial divisions and labored to rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which left about 85 percent of the city underwater in August 2005.

"After the hurricane, people were more willing to come back when they realized the Saints were coming back," said Scott Catalanotto, 35, whose 7-year-old son sat on a ladder and yelled for beads.

---

Dree Brees House

---

Drew Brees on Letterman in case anyone is interested and missed it.

posted by justgary at 05:00 PM on February 10

okay, now we're completely off the original points so time to move on.

As I said earlier, and I truly mean this...Enjoy the celebration, the Saints won the Super Bowl.

posted by dviking at 06:16 PM on February 10

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