A Super Bowl to Remember
Who Dat nation rejoices
By Mark Fagan,
12:21PM, Mon. Feb. 8, 2010
The Super Bowl is arguably the biggest sporting event in the world. The World Cup (which only occurs every four years) would get my vote – but that's a whole 'nother story. I had chosen not to blog or tweet the Bowl because there is such a media overkill associated with this event I didn't see the point; but this game was so special I had to join the chorus.
I was born in 1968. The Saints were founded in 1967. Previous to yesterday we had both played in the exact same number of Super Bowls. Zero. The Saints didn't sport a .500 record until 1979 and a winning record until 1987. Their franchise playoff record preceding this season was 2-6. Being a Houston Texans fan, this puts our franchise's "slow start" somewhat in perspective.
And how do you adequately describe the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and its aftereffects on the NOLA? Mayor Ray Nagin stated that most cities take 10 to 15 years to recuperate from similar disasters (according to his research), and New Orleans is only in its fourth year. I'd say by that timetable they are possibly ahead of schedule and yesterday's 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts should help in this effort, possibly more than would seem logical considering it's just a football game.
But for New Orleans, it wasn't just a football game. It was Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, Barack Obama being elected president, and Marilyn Monroe standing over that steam vent in her white dress all wrapped into one glorious event.
The Colts rookie head coach Jim Caldwell was outcoached by the Saints Sean Payton. With his team down 10-6 entering the second half, Payton elected to do an onside kickoff attempt, with the ball given to the Saints after the longest depiling of a loose ball I've ever seen in a football game. I don't even want to know what was going on at the bottom of that pile.
Payton played to win while Caldwell played to not lose. Payton won.
Drew Brees was born in Dallas and was a high school football star here in Austin for Westlake where he amassed a 28-0-1 record as quarterback. He then went on to an illustrious college career at Purdue and was drafted by the San Diego Chargers as the first pick in the second round of the 2001 NFL draft.
Due to injury and his short stature, by 2006 there were only two NFL teams interested in Brees: the Miami Dolphins and the Saints. The Dolphins, concerned with Brees' previous shoulder injury decided to go with Daunte Culpepper, Brees landed with New Orleans and his fate was sealed.
But yesterday was the first day of the rest of Drew Brees' life as the savior of New Orleans. Or at least the face of it. He formed the Brees Dream Foundation in 2007 and has been a public leader in the rebuilding of his newly adopted hometown. Saints fans have anointed him Breesus, and with just cause.
His play in SB 44 was nothing short of spectacular (32-39 for 288 yards, no interceptions, and two touchdown passes). Brees didn't turn the ball over once in this year's postseason. Peyton Manning wishes he could say the same.
The play of the game was most certainly Tracy Porter's 74-yard interception return for a TD that put the Saints up 31-17 with 3:12 remaining; but the most lasting image for me was the one of Drew Brees holding his less-than-a-year-old son up on his shoulders following the game, and Brees' smile that said it all.
Not only had Brees won the game, but the entire city of New Orleans (and the state of Louisiana) had won as well. Forty-three years is a long time, but it may have been worth the wait. Let's just hope it doesn't take the Texans as long because I'm already growing a little long in the tooth.
Regarding The Who's halftime performance: From my brief listening of several sports-talk radio pundits this morning, it appears their 12-minute medley didn't go over so well because, ya know, they are old and don't look that great on TV. There were suggestions of Carrie Underwood or Taylor Swift as possible better acts for that slot.
Were The Who as good as previous halftime acts Bruce Springsteen or Prince? Not even close. It wasn't really that memorable of a halftime show, but to suggest that Underwood or Swift would be better-suited is insulting to the legacy of one of rock & roll's greatest acts of all time. My suggestion for next year, NOLA-style: Lil Wayne, Master P, and Juvenile.