New Orleans recovery effort

They may have been a bit dazed and bleary-eyed in New Orleans Monday, following Super Bowl victory parties Sunday night that went into the wee hours of the morning. But, in a city known for its party atmosphere, quick recoveries are expected. So it’s no surprise tens of thousands of New Orleans Saints fans are anticipated to line the streets of that city today to welcome home their heroes.

Their favorite football team engineered its own recovery Sunday after falling behind 10-0 to the Indianapolis Colts — the Peyton Manning-led team noted for its consistency and talent.

But New Orleans head coach Sean Payton called plays like a riverboat gambler, quarterback Drew Brees threw with amazing precision to a bevy of gifted receivers, and the speedy New Orleans defenders kept Manning and the Colts offense in check.

Just as they did two weeks ago, when they fell behind to the Minnesota Vikings, the Saints made it clear this was a team that should never be counted out, even if it has suffered serious setbacks.

Maybe that’s appropriate, since they represent a city which has been struggling to fully recover ever since the 2005 triple calamity of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the bumbling of FEMA.

New Orleans fans have loved their football team for decades, even when they were known as the Aints for their dismal records. The last few years, as the team began to improve under Coach Payton, they cheered them ever more enthusiastically. It all culminated with spontaneous street parties Sunday night.

Today, the festival atmosphere will continue when fans welcome Payton, Brees, Reggie Bush and Tracy Porter, who had a game-clinching interception, returned it for a touchdown and gave the Saints their final margin of victory, 31-17.

Congratulations to the Saints, who deserved the hard-fought victory, and to their fans, who can finally savor a championship.


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