The New Orleans Saints are taking Super Bowl XLIV's coveted Vince Lombardi trophy back to the Crescent City after beating the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 on Sunday night.
Saints cornerback Tracy Porter intercepted a pass from Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning intended for wide receiver Reggie Wayne, and returned it for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to clinch the victory.
It was the Saints first trip to the Super Bowl and first National Football League championship in the franchise's 43-year history.
Now a super celebration is underway in New Orleans, a city still struggling to recover after devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina four years ago. Katrina left the Superdome, the Saints home stadium, in ruins and the team had considered leaving the city.
"Four years ago, who ever thought this would be happening when 85 percent of the city was under water?" said Saints quarterback Drew Brees. "Most people left not knowing if New Orleans would ever come back, or if the organization would ever come back. We just all looked at one another and said, `We are going to rebuild together. We are going to lean on each other.' This is the culmination in all that belief."
Though Manning was disappointed in his team's loss, he could appreciate what the Saints victory meant for the entire state of Louisiana.
"I certainly know how it was three years ago when we won," Manning said. "I know the people of New Orleans and the Saints have that same feeling right now."