JEFFREY BROWN: Last night’s Super Bowl drew the largest audience in television history, 106 million people. And why not? It was exciting football and a great storyline for a city still struggling to get back on its feet.
It was more than a week before Mardi Gras, but New Orleans partied into the wee hours last night, after the city’s beloved Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17. It was the franchise’s first Super Bowl title since its founding 43 years ago and the city’s first major professional sports championship ever.
Quarterback Drew Brees was the game’s most valuable player.
DREW BREES, New Orleans Saints quarterback: We played for so much more than — than just ourselves. We played for our city.
JEFFREY BROWN: Down 10-0, the Saints staged a daring no-holds-barred comeback, including a surprise onside kick that gave them momentum to start the second half.
JIM NANTZ, CBS Sports: Picked off.
JEFFREY BROWN: They sealed the win late in the fourth quarter when Tracy Porter returned an interception 74 yards for the final score.
As the celebration erupted on New Orleans’ famed Bourbon Street, comparisons with the city’s own comeback were inevitable.
MAN: We love this city. It’s all in me, baby. I don’t want to cry. I really don’t want to cry.
JEFFREY BROWN: It’s been four-and-a-half years since Hurricane Katrina devastated huge swathes of the city. The storm tore parts of the roof off the Superdome, where the Saints play their home games, and flood victims camped there for days.
Since then, head coach Sean Payton has directed New Orleans to a division title in 2006 and now the Lombardi Trophy, symbol of the NFL championship.
The Saints returned home this afternoon to a cheering airport crowd. Tomorrow, the city turns out for a victory parade.