February 8, 2010
I went into Super Bowl 44 as a bandwagon Colts fan. With my Bengals destroyed by the Jets in the first round of the playoffs and the Panthers out of the postseason since the first week of the season, I decided I wanted to see Peyton Manning win another ring.
But as the game wore on, I found myself pulling for New Orleans. I don't think you can find a better person in the league than Drew Brees. Here's a guy that was always criticized in San Diego. He busted up his throwing shoulder at the end of his run there, and no one was sure if he could play again. The Saints roll the dice and sign him, and he becomes one of the most productive quarterbacks in the league.
CBS' Katie Couric had a really nice piece before the game that talked about Brees' involvement with the New Orleans community, and how he and his wife have dedicated themselves to living in the city and helping its residents can rebuild. The same can be said about all of the Saints players.
Four and a half years ago, New Orleans was under water. Its neighborhoods were devastated. It's people had nowhere to turn. But they had the Saints.
The Saints have played an integral role in bringing the city back. And as owner Tom Benson said, New Orleans IS back.
Manning will win another Super Bowl or two before all is said and done. He'll break all of the records.
In my mind, there are no fans as loyal as Saints fans and none more deserving. This is a unique Super Bowl, one that we can all celebrate.