Walter Pierce

What they're saying: Saints talk of football world

by Walter Pierce

It still feels strange saying it — the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints. What more can we say? Absolutely nothing. But here’s what some others are saying about the Saints’ victory in Super Bowl 44:

ESPN’s Jeffri Chadiha praises Brees’ poise and command of the offense.

In his “Monday Morning Quarterback” column, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King highlights two unsung heroes of the game: punter Thomas Morestead and back-up safety Chris Reis, who kicked and recovered, respectively, that daring on-side kick to open the second half.

“The Saints were too good, too polished, too inspired . . . too intent on bringing their wounded city a much-needed boost,” writes Indianapolis Star Colts columnist Bob Kravitz, who has much to say today, both about the Colts and the Saints. The irony isn’t lost on many Colts fans that the two Saints players most instrumental in the Saints’ win — Drew Brees (Purdue University) and cornerback Tracy Porter (Indiana University) — starred in college in the Hoosier State. Kravitz also wonders if the football gods didn’t exact revenge on the Colts for resting their starters late in the season instead of seeking a perfect record.

Citing the bookies in Vegas, the Web site Football Outsiders lists the Saints as the fourth most-likely team to play in the 2011 Super Bowl, behind New England, San Diego and most-favored Indianapolis.

Clark Judge at CBS says the Colts’ conservative approach following an aggressive first quarter doomed them.

Brian Burke, who crunches NFL statistics for Advanced NFL, analyzes Sean Payton’s gutsy calls — the on-side kick, the 4th and goal attempt, and the two-point conversion attempt — for The New York Times football blog, 5th Down.

And for number crunching of the eerie sort, Saints fans at, an unofficial UL sports fan site, track the coincidences with the Saints, the Super Bowl and the number 4.