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Saints champs, Peyton Manning suffers from loss

By Joel Wright
On February 10, 2010

The New Orleans Saints brought the Super Bowl home after dealing with the embarrassment of paper bags and the devastation of Hurricane Katrina over their history.

After capping off what many could consider a dream season, we get to listen to how this is the biggest championship for a city in probably the history of sports. Don't get me wrong, I am excited for the Saints and their fans, but the magic of the situation was played out before the game was even played, and it's time to move on.

Super Bowl XLIV was, in my book, the third consecutive Super Bowl that has turned out to be a good game. While the last two title games were a little more intense at the end, this

game was a tough battle, decided in the fourth quarter.

It almost seemed like the Saints' destiny to win the game after the media hyped up the Colts all week. New Orleans was the classic underdog, and Indianapolis was the favorite who would be tough to beat on a bad day.

After coming out a little slow in the first half, something transformed the Saints at halftime, and they seemed untouchable in the last two periods of the game.

The first play of the third quarter was arguably the gutsiest call in Super Bowl history. No one saw an onside kick coming in the middle of such an important game. Saints' head coach Sean Payton made the game changing call, after preparing for it all week. He saw something on film that he thought that he could exploit, and he did it.

From that point on, the Colts seemed to be backpedalling. Peyton Manning did drive his team down the field, taking a lead lasting into the fourth quarter. After that, it seemed nothing could go right for Indy. The Saints offense played up to their no. 1 regular season ranking, and it got very tough for the Colts to stop them.

After New Orleans took a 24-17 lead, it was expected for Peyton Manning to come back on the next drive and tie the game up, and maybe, (my hopes anyway) result in the first overtime in Super Bowl history.

In the end, Manning's great field sense was his undoing. Reggie Wayne slipped breaking for the ball, and the Saints' Tracy Porter jumped in front of Wayne, intercepting the pass.

Porter sealed the game by scoring the touchdown after the pick.

A lot of people are happy for the Saints, who earned it. I didn't know why at the time, but I

was pulling for the Colts, just so Manning could shed another media-induced ape off his back.

If you think about it, when Tom Brady was winning Super Bowls, he being crowned the "greatest quarterback ever." Manning finally won his Super Bowl, and that was enough for the media to momentarily give him credit for winning in the playoffs.

A couple years later, and Peyton's back in the big game. The media couldn't stop talking about how he's probably the greatest of all time and he can read minds, or whatever they were saying. He loses the game though, and as soon as it was over, all of the skeptics were on ESPN doubting Manning again. Now the Drew Brees bandwagon is flying down Bourbon Street, and we are left to wonder again.

That's ridiculous, just for the fact that one game, no matter how big, shouldn't decide a legacy. At the end of the day, the better team won, and that's what the game of football is all about, big ups to the New Orleans Saints.

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