Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl XLIV - Who Dat? De Winners, Dat's Who.

Super Sunday was today.

That great 44-year-old All-American tradition, Super Bowl
Sunday, is a big event here in Las Vegas.

Some 280,000 people descended on our fair city, to gather
in the sports books and cocktail lounges, cheer on
either the Indianapolis Colts or the New Orleans Saints,
drop a little cash in the slots or at the tables, and otherwise
have a good time and enjoy themselves.

But, as a Vegas local, I tend to avoid the otherwise
overcrowded and overpriced Strip as much as possible -
especially on Super Bowl Sunday, when both the crowds
and the prices go up dramatically. And, since this a
busy weekend for the casinos (and especially their PR
people), I felt obliged to decline a kind invitation from
my friend The Vegas Insider to attend the big VIP bash
at a certain major hotel on the strip.

I'm not exactly the kind of "high roller" he normally
would be working with on this busy weekend.

So, with the "better half" working today, I decided to
have a small group of friends over to the house to
watch the game. First item up is to prepare my share
of the chow. So, into the kitchen I go and an hour later
a huge pot of The Thinking Nationalists' Famous Chili
is bubbling on the stove, together with hot dogs, nachos
and three microwave bags of popcorn. Oh, and plenty
of liquid refreshment courtesy of Anheuser-Busch.

The door bell rings, and in come my friends with more
"liquid refreshment" and more snacks, and at 3:25
all hands are in front of the big screen TV to watch the

Now, for those few of you who don't follow football,
the Indianapolis Colts were somewhat favored, and
this being Vegas everyone has a bet . Today's line
was Colts by five, with the over/under at 56-1/2.
And everyone was betting Colts.

But, even though Indy was the betting favorite,
everyone's heart seemed to be with the New Orleans
Saints - the "Who Dat?" boys. And that's typical
America. Americans love an underdog that shows grit
and pluck - and ever since Katrina, New Orleans hasn't
been shown much love lately.

The game opened in typical fashion with Indianapolis
getting a 42-yard Matt Stover field goal after holding the
Saints to three-and-out on their opening possession.
Then, after a fiercely defensive first quarter by both teams,
Peyton Manning found Pierre Garcon for a 19-yard TD with
0:36 left in the first quarter. After 1 quarter, Indianapolis
is up 10-0 and momentum seems to be going Indy's way.

But the Saints aren't the Aints any longer. They hung
tough, doing the only scoring in the second quarter on
two Garret Hartley field goals of 46 and 44 yards.
Halftime score: Indianapolis up 10-6. And that
elusive lady Momentum seemed to be changing sides.

The fireworks, though, started after the halftime show
this time. On the opening second-half kickoff, Saints
head coach Sean Payton made the gutsy decision to
open with an onside kick - something never before
done in a Super Bowl and only a few times in the regular
season. Drew Brees and company recovered, and took it
in for the score. New Orleans 13-10 and the joint was

But, the game wasn't over. Moving this time on the
ground, Indy came right back and took back the
lead 17-13 on a 4-yard Joseph Addai plunge. The
Saints, though, kept it close with Garrett Hartley's
third 40+ yard field goal of the game. Third Quarter:
Indy up 17-16.

In the fourth quarter though, Drew Brees and
Da Boyz went to work, taking the lead 24 -17 on
a 2-yard pass to Jeremy Shockey in the right corner
and a disputed 2-point conversion to Lance Moore.
The crusher for Indianapolis, though, was Tracy
Porter's 74-yard INT return of a Peyton Manning
pass with 3:16 remaining.

At that point, though there was a second Mardi Gras
going on in the French Quarter, there were some
long faces in the group. But not me.

I had New Orleans and the points.

1 comment:

  1. I put money on the Saints. I laugh at anyone who didn't pay enough attention to the Colt's season and know that the coach was making the players play so safe as to seem weak and timid. The Saints did the exact right thing, big bold playing. An onside kick to start the second half was a perfect symbol of the Saint's play and ultimate victory. Basically, the Saints smelled weakness and pounced the right way. Reggie was on top of his game and he was never better. Hoorah!