As the seconds began to wind down on the New Orleans Saints’ first Super Bowl victory in history, the ticker tape rained down and Kim Kardashian planted a wet one on Reggie Bush. Immediately, I began to wonder, “Where did it all go wrong?” First of all, let me clarify that I am a true Colts fan from the Jim Harbaugh era, who cried when we won the Super Bowl in 2007. I am the obnoxious type who rams stats down your throat and waxes poetic about the greatness that is Peyton Manning.
To be honest, I was a little skeptical about this season. After all, we had a new home in Lucas Oil Stadium, and the reliability and consistency of Tony Dungy was replaced by the ascension of Jim Caldwell.
Throw in the slew of injuries to key players like Bob Sanders and Jeff Saturday, and the future did not look so rosy. But with each passing victory and the emergence of young unknowns Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon, the team looked poised to make a successful run.
However, it seemed that the New Orleans Saints were blessed with the same great fortune. After years of futility, the oft-maligned franchise began to experience a resurgence, the likes of which the city had never seen before. Unfortunately, it seemed to be on a collision course with my beloved Colts. It’s hard not to root for a team which restored hope to a city in need of a reprieve from past tribulations, especially when you attend school in said state.
When the Super Bowl match-ups were set in stone, many of my fellow Monday morning quarterbacks tried to reason with me.
“What if this was a team of destiny?” they asked. “There is no such thing in sports,” I quickly retorted. You either win or lose. As the day drew closer and excitement mounted, I secretly rolled my eyes at the “Who Dat” chants, patiently waiting for the victory that would cement Manning’s legacy and put my team on the cusp of greatness. I clucked my tongue with pity at my advisor, who was decked out in his Saints tie. “Poor misguided man,” I thought.
On the eve of the Super Bowl, I caught an ESPN clip showing voodoo dolls in the likeness of Manning. I made a mental note to say an extra prayer before bed to counteract the bad karma.
Well, you know what they say about karma. Apparently I should have enlisted the help of the Pope. When a friend came by to get my prediction on Super Sunday, I obediently wrote it down and scoffed at fools who bet against my boys.
I then followed that up by sending out some trash talk laden texts for good measure. Clearly, I had it coming, and, boy, did I receive it.
The next few hours went by like a Philosophy 201 class: confusing and uncomfortable. A vanquished 10-0 first quarter lead. An onside kick to start the third. A missed field goal. Throw in an alarming dose of anxiety and I was a mess. Still, I believed. Down 24-17 with 3:12 to play, our seven come from behind victories flashed before my eyes. We had been here before. Manning to … Tracy Porter?! No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The next few minutes were just a formality. As my cell phone vibrated furiously and the banging began on my door, I found myself experiencing an odd emotion: humility.
So, congrats to all the long suffering Saints fans and the city of New Orleans. But we’ll be back next year. Go, Colts!
Nasha Smith is a senior mass communication/French major from St. Lucia.