Most of you probably watched it, so no point in setting up the background info. Here are a few thoughts I had about the game.
Drew Brees: After looking at his last season (Only the second person ever to pass for 5,000 yards, 34 touchdowns, and a 96.2 passer rating for the year) and this year (70.6 completion percentage, 13-3 regular season record with one loss where he didn't play, a playoff run during which he beat 3 of the most prolific quarterbacks to play the game: Manning, Favre, and Warner) is it possible that Drew Brees is, at the moment, the best quarterback in the league? No one has played football as well as he has over the last two seasons, the guy has simply been amazing, and he won a Superbowl ring and a Superbowl MVP while he was at it (though he was snubbed for another big award).
Peyton Manning: It's funny how short the memories of sports commentators and a large portion of sports fans are. For two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl I had to hear about how Peyton Manning is the greatest to ever play the position of quarterback and all this other stupid Peyton love that really made no sense. He is a great quarterback, probably will end his career as one of the best, but best ever? Please. The guy is .500 in the post season, he's mediocre when it counts the most. Greatness isn't what you do in the day to day, or how many meaningless games you win, the fact of the matter is in big games he chokes (I'm going to revisit this topic later, cause there is so much to say about this weird Peyton love that people have). Give me Joe Cool over Peyton any day.
MVP Award: I know hindsight is 20/20 and all, but why the hell didn't Brees win the MVP again? I mean, even without hindsight, it's pretty obvious Brees should have won it. Look at the numbers. Brees threw for .6 more yards per attempt, completed 1.8% more of his passes, threw 1 more TD on 57 less attempts, threw 5 less interceptions, and had a 9.7 point higher passer rating. What gives? Drew Brees was better than Peyton in pretty much every way, but Peyton Manning won the regular season MVP for his record 4th time, and he won it by a landslide. Seems like another case of unwarranted Peyton love.
Saints Linebackers: How good did these guys play? I mean holy crap how many times did you see a Saints linebacker in single coverage against a Colts receiver? And they weren't getting beat, they kept up even on some of the longer routes (granted they couldn't cover them on every pass, but c'mon, they're linebackers). It was quite a performance they put on and they should get a lot more credit than they are.
Manning's Interception: Anyone with a memory of Peyton Manning's career knew this was going to happen, you should have been waiting for it. The guy isn't a postseason performer, he is a choker, and he WAS going to throw an interception in that game, no doubt about it. Credit to Tracy Porter though for sniffing out that route before the ball was even snapped. (By the way, Peyton should have had two interceptions that game, but it's cool, I'll settle with one.)
Garrett Hartley: I'm glad Brees won the Superbowl MVP (mostly because he got snubbed for the regular season MVP) but man, this guy needs to get some kind of award or something. First he gets them to the Superbowl by making that kick under huge pressure in the NFC Championship, then he goes on to break the Superbowl record and kick 3 beautiful field goals right between the uprights from 40+ yards away. Without each of those kicks, the wind goes out of the Saints' sails and the Colts capitalize, and most likely win the Superbowl. In a year where kickers sucked terribly at pivotal moments, this guy really came through.
Sean Payton: How gutsy was that onside kick coming out of halftime? The balls on Sean Payton are undoubtedly made of some undiscovered substance stronger than even our strongest alloys. The great thing about that play is that every Superbowl party across the nation experienced it the same way.
Party goer 1: So, that "Who" halftime show was really terrible.
Party goer 2: Seriously, didn't those guys retire like 30 years ago? What the hell are they doing playing the Superbowl?
Party goer 1: I dunno, I heard that Pete Towns HOLY SHIT ONSIDE KICK!
Some food item or drink is spilled as everyone else turns back to the TV. Once the Saints recover everyone cheers (except in Indiana households) then the phones come out and a round of furious texting begins.
Anyway, he deserves a ton of credit for the Saints' success. If I owned a team, I'd want Sean Payton coaching it.
The Saints' "Wheelbarrow Guy": Here is someone who really doesn't get enough credit, but without him Sean Payton and the Saints' could have never accomplished what they did. He was there at every training camp, every practice, every team meeting, and every game moving around the wheelbarrow that Sean Payton rests his massive balls in. Without him, Sean Payton wouldn't have been able to get out of the door in the morning's and the Saints would have continued to be the Ain'ts.
TV Ratings: The Superbowl last night was the highest rated TV program of all time, with an average of 106.5 million viewers. This broke the record that the hallowed MASH finale held since 1983 (average of 106 million viewers for that one). I'm impressed by the ratings for last night, and I'm happy that the Saints were able to get the greatest national exposure anyone has ever gotten, but I'm still way more impressed by the MASH ratings. Think about it, it was 1983. Think about how many less TVs people had, or just how many less people there were in general, all in all it's pretty damn impressive.
New Orleans: I can't remember a Superbowl where more people were cheering for one team, and not because of the team itself, but in solidarity with the city. It was really great to see that city have something good happen to it after so, so much bad. Congratulations New Orleans, you are Super Bowl Champions.