Super Bowl LI will feature one of the greatest quarterback match-ups of all time, but Super Bowl XLIV wasn’t bad either. Yes, in February 2010, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees squared off, with the Saints overcoming a 10-0 deficit and beating the Colts, 31-17.
It remains the greatest season – and perhaps greatest game – in Saints history.
“Just the whole season, the whole experience, the week, the game itself, the celebration on the field with my wife and kids postgame, the confetti falling down on my kids’ faces, the drunken stupor for the month that followed – from start to finish, the whole thing was just pretty magical,” former Saints linebacker Scott Fujita said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “Those are the kind of bonds that never get broken. I’m still on an ongoing text thread with about 10 of those guys that’s about six or seven years long now. It’s the tightest group of guys. I think it was just sort of the culmination of everything – our experience getting there right after Katrina, and then coming together and being underdogs and castaways from other teams, and coming together and riding that magical wave for four years and culminating that night in Miami at the Super Bowl. It was just a special, special run with a great group of guys.”
Fujita, who played for the Saints from 2006-09, said the love affair between New Orleans and the Saints is unlike anything he has seen or experienced in the NFL.
“It’s such an awesome, sort of oddly dysfunctional, symbiotic relationship, and that’s just what’s part of the charm,” Fujita said. “I was able to play in some great football towns like Kansas City, Dallas and Cleveland, where the fans are awesome – almost as good as it gets. But in New Orleans, it is unique and it’s rare. It’s a relatively good-sized city, but it has a really small-town feel. So after games, we go out to the local town bars and players and fans are there alike, and media, and everyone is getting along and drinking beers together – win, lose or draw. It’s a special kind of dysfunction that you probably don’t find in a lot of places.”