Drew Brees kisses his wife with the Lombardi Trophy in hand after beating the Colts 31-17. He won the MVP.
I usually wake up the day after the Super Bowl kind of pissed off. For one, I have to go back to work after a weekend of drinking, and secondly, it's usually because a team that I dislike has just won the Super Bowl. For instance, in the past decade, hated teams such as the Patriots (three times), Steelers (twice), and Colts have won Super Bowls.
But when the Saints won the Super Bowl last night, beating the Colts, I couldn't feel anything but happiness for the city of New Orleans and Saints fans everywhere.
The Saints were founded in 1967 and didn't have a winning season for 20 years. They didn't get a playoff win until 2000. If ever there was a franchise that deserved to win the Super Bowl for past performance, or lack of, it was the Saints. Watching historically bad teams like the Buccaneers, Cardinals and Rams have resurgences, it was only fair that the Saints had one of their own. They were perhaps the last of the "bad" franchises to at least make it to the Super Bowl.
And if ever there was a city that deserved a Super Bowl title, it is New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina decimated the city in 2005, and New Orleans is still recovering from that disaster. I visited the city in 2007, and while a lot of the touristy areas were back to normal, you could tell that the city's spirit was still healing. And while a Super Bowl victory won't account for the losses of family members, homes and businesses, it does take some of the sting out of those tragedies at least for the time being.
Also, this Super Bowl victory is the first major championship for the city of New Oreleans, a town that saw the Jazz relocate to Utah in the 1980's and was on the verge of losing the Hornets after Hurricane Katrina. You know that the streets of the French Quarter will be rocking for the next week. Add to that, Mardi Gras is only a few days away.
I watched the game with my friend, Jason, who has always been a huge Saints fan, and has family from Louisiana. I shared his joy in watching the Saints win while drinking some Abita beer. It was probably the best I've felt about a Super Bowl since the Ravens won it in 2000.
And finally, it was nice to see the Colts lose. It doesn't happen very often, and when Peyton Manning threw that game-clinching interception lat in the 4th quarter, I couldn't help but celebrate Manning's rare mistake, a mistake that cost him his second Super Bowl ring. Call me a jaded Ravens fan, call me whatever you want. I don't care. I hate the bleeping Colts.
So here's to the Saints and the city of New Orleans. Congratulations.