Siting in the Stadium waiting for the game to begin, surrounded by thousands of Saints fans was a strange feeling. I had been in this same stadium several times before and the vibe was very different. I had never been there with anything vested in the outcome. I had never been surrounded by my people before, outside the comfort of the Dome or long ago Tulane Stadium.
As we waited for the game to begin drinking a $10 beer, we tentatively introduced ourselves to the people around us. Exchanging stories of our Saints history, how we came to be there and why we came. Nobody paid much attention.
The pregame festivities and ceremony came and went, no one paid much attention, except when the Saints came on the field. Everyone seemed to be waiting for our time. Waiting for the game to begin.
The sign says it all. The Colts jumped to an early lead but the fans didn't panic or fall into the familiar fatalistic premonition. They held a quiet confidence. Continuing to cheer for the Saints. The Colts fans seemed very quiet, even when they held the lead.
As the first half progressed the Saints fought back, gaining on the Colts. The fans confidence was building as the Saints scored and began to catch the Colts on the scoreboard. There was a feeling that the Saints were coming back. Halftime came with the Saints trailing and no one seemed worried.
The opening of the second half convinced every Saints fan that we would win. The onside kick followed by a drive to take the lead was Saints all out, go for broke football. All we had to do was Finish Strong. That phrase was common in the ranks of the faithful.
Even falling behind again and finishing the third quarter one point behind had little effect on the spirits of the faithful.
The Saints were marching. Everyone in Black and Gold was behind the Saints in the third quarter. It didn't matter what the Colts did. But there was still work to do. The fans were confidently behind the Saints. the Legend of Peyton was not intimidating anyone. We had our own Peyton.
Our faith was rewarded in the beginning of the fourth quarter. The Saints frustrated the Colts and retook the lead. The officials even cooperated on a two point conversion.
We were going to win the Super Bowl, it was unreal. We knew the commentators were telling the country that Peyton the Great was going to come back and work his magic. It didn't matter We Knew Better. We knew that Drew could match anything he could do.
Greg Williams turned the defense loose, Tracy Porter took it to the house. We won the Super Bowl. There was no way the Colts could come back in 3:12. We hugged and cried for the entire remaining three minutes.
We were in shock. We were stunned. We were in rapture. We were Super Bowl Champions.