Mardi Gras begins early.
Despite being down 10-0 at the end of the 1st quarter, the New Orleans Saints fought their way back to a 31-17 triumph over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.
The turning point took place in the beginning of the 3rd quarter when they delivered a surprise onside kick. It was a bold move that would lead to a touchdown to give the Saints a 13-10 lead.
The Colts did get the lead back but the Saints answered them. The game was cemented with a little more than three minutes left in the game when cornerback Tracy Porter intercepted a pass by Colts QB Peyton Manning which was intended for wide receiver Reggie Wayne. Instead, Porter ran the ball 74 yards for a touchdown giving the Saints a 31-17 lead.
Saints QB Drew Brees was named the Super Bowl MVP. Brees completed 32 passes (tying a Super Bowl record set by Patriots QB Tom Brady against the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII) for 288 yards with two touchdown passes. Kicker Garrett Hartley also made Super Bowl history by kicking three field goals over 40 yards.
Needless to say the people of New Orleans have gone through a great deal since August 29, 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit the city. While a Super Bowl victory doesn't solve the lingering problems it certainly boosts morale and could spark the light at the end of the tunnel.
If there's any city that deserves a major sports championship it's New Orleans. Especially when it means wiping that grin off Peyton Manning's face.