February 9, 2010
The Super Bowl game itself was amazing, though the result was not what I had hoped, it was an exciting game that went right down to late in the fourth quarter before being decided. The atmosphere inside the stadium was incredible as both Saints and Colts fans pretty much remained standing and screaming throughout the game.
Colts take the field.
Things started off great for us Colts fans as we jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead and even had a chance to go up by more until a big dropped pass by Pierre Garcon stalled a drive and allowed the opening that the Saints seemed to need. They finally seemed to get their offense going and scored a field goal to make it 10-3.
I know the game has been analyzed a lot, but in my opinion it all turned late in the first half when the Colts failed to capitalize on the brilliant 4th & 1 goal line stand and got the ball back at the 1 yard line with 2 minutes left in the half. Rather than try to drive down for more points as they have been doing all season, they got ultra conservative and ran the ball up the middle three times, failing to get a first down and allowing the Saints to kick a late field goal to close the gap to 10-6 at the half.
Goal Line Stand
It was as if the Colts were playing not to lose, while the Saints were pulling out all the stops and playing to win. That trend would become readily evident right from the start in the second half.
Before that was the incredible half-time show by the legendary band The Who. I’m not sure how it came across on television, but it was a spectacular show in person. It was a thing of beauty to watch them assemble and dissemble the spectacular stage in a matter of moments, all for a 30 minute performance. The laser light show was amazing, though the sound was somewhat muffled it was still a pretty cool thing to witness.
The second half began with one of the most daring calls of Super Bowl history, a successful onside kick by the Saints that completed the momentum shift and allowed the Saints to drive down and take the lead and start off the second half in which their offense was pretty much unstoppable, while the Colts continued a series of tentative, questionable decisions. I mean what was the thinking on attempting that 50 yard field goal?
Peyton Manning was visibly frustrated and it seemed inevitable that he would try to force things and commit a critical error. That is what happened when the Saints returned an interception 74 yards for the clinching TD in their 31-17 victory. As disappointing as it was, it was hard to be too upset. The Saints fans that I encountered were gracious and friendly and seemed (deservedly so) to be having the time of their lives. They certainly know how to have a great time and their team deserved to win.
It was a fantastic experience and it was thrilling to be there surrounded by so many wonderful football fans from New Orleans and watch them celebrate a victory that somehow seemed bigger than just a game.
Happy Saints Fans!