Saints Punish Pundits Who Picked Wrong Peyton: Delta Delusion To Follow

Dave HoganContributor IIFebruary 8, 2010

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 07:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints talks to his team in the huddle against the Indianapolis Colts during Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

Saint Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton drove—and proved—virtually all of the media pundits and Colts' crazy.

While ESPN was anointing Peyton Manning "best ever" all week, a funny thing happened on the way to Manning's canonization.

Perhaps the best ever game plan for a Super Bowl was unveiled and witnessed by and viewed by millions: Saints 31-17 over the Colts, and it wasn't even that close after the on-side kick grotto of humanity was unpiled to begin the second half.

Going into the game, you would have thought it was a heavyweight boxing match with Drew Brees being the lightweight moving up a notch to face the taller, more skilled Peyton Manning.

Manning's reach extends way beyond Brees'—into everyone's living rooms through their Sony's that Manning had pitched them.

Alas, football is a simple game played by 22 mere mortals, 11 on each side during each snap, run, punt, pass, and kick. Unless your team happens to be coached by Brad Childress—add one.

Each play begins with a cacophony of signal calling by the quarterback. Manning is considered a genius as he calls his owns plays—something Johnny Unitas and virtually every QB from that era did. Manning's playcalling emanates from between his ears;  Brees' playcalling is "directed" through his ear piece.

While virtually every man crushed, er, ah "crunched," ex-QB television analyst finds Manning's virtuoso performances extraordinary, I find them downright boring. His rote methodology gives the game a clinical feel. 

Give me game-planning, good coaching, and yes, give me something about the prospective performances of the other 21 men on the field at any given time.

Did we even know the names of any Saints besides Brees yesterday? Besides Dwight Feeney's (most famous since Curt Shilling's) ankle, did we know anything about anybody? Now, we at least know Tracy Porter.

The concerto the other Payton orchestrated yesterday was no small miracle if you believe the pundits. Whether is was New Orleans' voodoo magic or "God's plan" (please, Brees), there will now develop yet another contrived story.

Now Manning's anointment as the greatest will temporarily reside in the catacombs. Credit to former Saints coach Mike Ditka who said, "you cannot really say who is the 'greatest.'" The feel-good story of New Orleans' rebuilding from Katrina coinciding with Brees' and Payton's arrivals surely will ensue with the vim and vigor of Manning's media hype.

The Manning Triumvirate hails from the Big Easy, too, and if you thought a football team could rebuild a city, then, given Peyton's pedigree and sway with the media, the levees would have been rebuilt weeks after the flood.

If you believe all the pre game hype, the Saints pulled off no small miracle yesterday, but all the Delta's denizens will not live happily ever after with their utility bills paid by Tom Benson and the Saints. Heck, don't even expect him to foot the bill for the parade clean-up.

It is, after all, just a game. It was nice to see the Saints prove that—and they are—after all, just a football team. Call me a cynic, but I think Reggie Bush and the Kardashians would rather be recognized in the front row at the White House, hyping reality TV, than in reality—in the trenches of rebuilding New Orleans. I hope I'm wrong.