First of all, I owe the New Orleans Saints a big thank you.
Because of their ability to defeat the Minnesota Vikings despite committing five turnovers in the NFC Championship game, I haven't wanted to pull my hair out, throw something at my TV or lie down on Redwood Road.
Can you imagine if Brett Favre had made it to the Super Bowl? The NFL Network would have changed its name to the Favre Channel. ESPN would have dropped ESPN Classic and started ESPN Brett. Analysts would have told us how incredibly wonderful Favre is and Favre would have set a new single-day world record for third-person references on Media Day during Super Bowl week.
Thank you, Saints, for sparing me that experience. Thank you for ending the Vikings' season in a way Packer fans were accustomed to during Favre's tenure as Green Bay's quarterback. And thank you for salvaging my hair, TV and body by eliminating the Vikings.
With that out of the way, Saints, why don't you go ahead and win the Super Bowl now?
I have no reason to dislike the Colts. Peyton Manning is one of the greatest of all-time. He'll break all of Favre's records, except for maybe his interceptions mark.
But you can't root for both teams in the big game and I'm siding with the Saints.
The New Orleans Saints have long been the Los Angeles Clippers of the NFL. The Saints have been around since 1967 and won four playoff games. They've had 10 winning seasons in 43 years. I've followed the NFL for as long as I can remember, and my first memories of the Saints are fans wearing bags over their heads and them being nicknamed the 'Aints.
The Saints are now America's Team with the way they've helped rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. They have players and a coach in Sean Payton who care about their fans. The Saints aren't just playing for themselves. They're playing for all the people in the region whose lives were disrupted by Katrina.
"This is more than just about football, just as the reopening of the Superdome was about more than that game, that day," Saints running back Reggie Bush said of the Super Bowl. "That was about Hurricane Katrina, the thousands of lives that were lost. This is, too."
Think the Saints might play with some emotion today?
Many analysts seem to think that the Colts are going to handle the Saints with ease and that Manning will be crowned the greatest quarterback of all-time after they do so. Yeah, and the Patriots were going to kill the Giants in the Super Bowl two years ago.
I don't know if the Saints can pull off an upset in the Super Bowl today, mainly because I'm not psychic. I just know that they're capable of doing so — and I hope they do.