The Super Bowl champion is America’s New Team.
The New Orleans Saints’ feel-good story was completed when they hoisted the Lombardi Trophy for the first time after defeating Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts 31-17. Fittingly, with the Super Bowl coming to North Texas next year, two players from North Texas had record-setting nights.
Here is how Super Bowl XLIV unfolded:
5 p.m.: Finally, all the preliminary stuff is over and we can say, “See you later” to Shannon Sharpe’s necktie.
5:13: Pizza Hut is advertising any pizza for $10. That is a great deal unless you want a personal pan.
5:21: Carrie Underwood does well on the national anthem. It was a pretty conservative rendition, though, and let’s hope the offensive game plans aren’t as conservative.
5:23: When the anthem ends, CBS does not show Underwood trying to walk in those shoes. I don’t think she could.
5:31: The Colts kick off. It is a miracle that the Saints’ Courtney Roby can see the ball with all the flashbulbs going off.
5:33: Incomplete pass, but the Saints went deep on 3rd-and-2. New Orleans coach Sean Payton isn’t as conservative as the national anthem.
5:42: The Colts’ Matt Stover, born in Dallas 42 years and 11 days ago, becomes the oldest player to play in the Super Bowl when he makes a 38-yard field goal that gives the Colts a 3-0 lead with 7:29 left.
5:43: Our pizza has arrived, and the delivery girl was really, really cute. (OK, Mrs. Insider brought the pizza home, but still, she’s cute.)
5:44: There is the big Tim Tebow commercial, and the biggest surprise is the big hit he put on his mother. Maybe linebacker is Tebow’s best position.
5:51: xasz (That is what happens when a Chihuahua steps on your laptop.)
5:53: Doritos is promoting disrespectful kids.
6:01: Manning to Pierre Garcon for 19 yards and a touchdown. Hey, Gregg Williams, there’s your first “remember me” hit.
6:02: Stover becomes the oldest player in Super Bowl history to make a PAT. Colts 10-0 with :36 left.
6:06: Doritos is off to a slower start than the Saints’ offense.
6:08: The first quarter ends with the Colts up 10-0.
6:18: The Saints get on the board when Southlake Carroll graduate Garrett Hartley makes a 46-yard field goal. It is his longest outdoor field goal of the season!
6:22: Back-to-back commercials with people in underwear. That’ll make you almost lose your pizza.
6:28: New Orleans defensive back Tracy Porter has shaved the left side of his head except for “SB 44.” If I had enough hair, I’d do that for next year’s game.
6:32: From the Colts’ 23, the Saints lose 7 yards on an end-around by Devery Henderson. They should have gone Carrie Underwood there.
6:42: The Colts stuff the Saints on fourth down from the 1. Oh, Carrie.
6:50: The Saints bounce back from the fourth-down failure to make it 10-6 on the last play of the half with Hartley’s 44-yard field goal. It is his second-longest outdoor field goal this season!
6:54: I was hoping Shannon Sharpe would change neckties during the first half. Didn’t happen.
7:01: Time for the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLIV Halftime Show. Or, from Who Dat to The Who.
7:02: Insider Jr. says The Who are too old to be singing at halftime. He’s right.
7:08: We have Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake to blame for this.
7:13: The halftime show ends, and I have seen way too much old man belly. Can the FCC do something about this?
7:21: The Saints start the second half by recovering an onside kick.
7:25: With New Orleans driving, Manning and Dwight Freeney are both on the Colts’ sideline. That’s what the Saints want.
7:26: Phil Simms points out another good chip block by Saints tight end David Thomas. (We once chatted about how tired we get of people making Wendy’s references with our names.)
7:27: The onside kick pays off when Drew Brees throws to Pierre Thomas (no relation) for 16 yards and a New Orleans touchdown.
7:28: Hartley’s PAT gives the Saints a 13-10 lead with 11:41 left. Can a coach be selected MVP?
7:30: Denny’s has free Grand Slams from 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday. Based on last year’s giveaway, you should go get a booth right now.
7:37: The Colts take back the lead with Joseph Addai’s 4-yard run, then Stover becomes the oldest player in SB history to make two extra points. Colts 17-13, 6:15 left.
7:39: Thank you HomeAway.com for bringing back Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo as The Griswolds!
7:49: With 2:01 left in the third quarter, Hartley nails a 47-yarder. Not only does he pull the Saints within 17-16, and not only does he become the first kicker in Super Bowl history to make three 40-plus yard field goals in a game, but he also resets his season best for longest outdoor field goal!
7:56: The third quarter ends with Indianapolis leading 17-16.
8:01: CBS tells us that we can now go to NFL.com and vote for the MVP. Now? Early in the fourth quarter of a one-point game?
8:05: With 10:39 remaining, Stover misses a 51-yard kick wide left. That’s OK. He’ll get a get chance for redemption next year when he is kicking for the Dallas Cowboys of Arlington in Super Bowl XLV.
8:12: Nine-yard catch to the Indy 5 for David Thomas!
8:13: Riding the momentum from Thomas’ huge catch, Brees hits Jeremy Shockey for a 2-yard TD pass.
8:15: The 2-point conversion fails. Saints lead 22-17 with 5:42 to go.
8:16: We can always count on the Budweiser Clydesdales.
8:17: Back from the Clydesdales, and Payton has challenged the ruling.
8:19: Overturned. Two-point conversion’s good. Saints 24-17.
8:27: Another commercial with someone in underwear.
8:27:43: Charles Barkley’s Taco Bell commercial. Thank goodness Charles wasn’t in underwear.
8:28: Manning is intercepted by Porter, who returns the ball 74 yards for a touchdown.
8:29: Hartley’s PAT makes it 31-17 with 3:12 to go.
8:30: That Doritos commercial where the guy has a Dorito shot into his neck is worse than Manning’s last pass.
8:31: The right side of Porter’s head is shaved except for the Lombardi Trophy.
8:37: I go to NFL.com and vote for Drew Brees as MVP, but only because Sean Payton isn’t an option.
8:43: On fourth-and-goal, Manning’s pass for Reggie Wayne is incomplete. The Colts ain’t all dat after all.
8:45: If you bet that orange Gatorade would be dumped on the winning coach, like the Saints, you’re a winner. Final: Saints 31, Colts 17.
8:46: CBS shows a live shot of Bourbon Street. You think New Orleans knows how to throw a parade?
8:47: You know, the Super Bowl is here next year, and the Cowboys did beat the Super Bowl champions on the road…
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