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New Orleans Saints fans share their Super Bowl XLIV memories

Saturday, Feb. 7 is five-year anniversary of Saints triumph


Jennifer McKay, Lafayette
My husband Mark and I were seated in one of the corner end zones. Early in the game, I kept getting flicked with drops of water. I looked around to see where it was coming from and saw that an older man next to me was clutching a holy water receptacle shaped like Virgin Mary.  He was "blessing" the crowd around him every time he got nervous. When Tracy Porter intercepted that pass, he ran straight toward our seats. As he crossed the goal line, my Who Dat seatmate burst out sobbing and and put his head on my shoulder. He cried happy tears for the rest of the game.

Vicki Galatas, Kenner
That Sunday we kicked off a great start to the day at church where everyone came in their Super Bowl best (including our Saints umbrellas). We marched around the church singing  "When the Saints Come Marching In," and had a grand celebration! Then, we gathered at my nephew's home to watch the win! The party wrapped up outside with fireworks, horns blowing and neighbors celebrating! The funniest scene was during our drive home around midnight ... a man was at a busy intersection playing "When the Saints Come Marching In" on his trumpet. ... What a great day filled with great memories!


Lance Reine
My wife and I were sitting in the Saints end zone eight rows from the field. I've never felt nerves like I did moments before the national anthem. Feeling like an idiot trying to hold back tears because WE were finally here. The feeling of watching Pierre Thomas dive in our end zone for the first touchdown the Saints would score to give us a lead in the Super Bowl was unreal. I remember thinking was this really happening? Can they actually win? Then watching the clock with a 7-point lead but Manning driving for a tying TD was agonizing, but when Tracey Porter stepped in front of that pass a moment of pure joy came over everyone. My wife said "we just won the Super Bowl!!!"  Tears flowing and uncontained emotion followed. Seeing my team celebrating the ultimate win is a day that I will never forget. We stayed in the stadium until security kicked us out. I didn't want it to be over. The victory parade was a beautiful and fitting way to cap off the best five months in New Orleans history. Let's do it again sometime Drew!!

Matt Johnson, Denham Springs
My memories are not only of the game but the whole week from the Tuesday before to the Tuesday after. The Greatest Week ever!!!

My buddy and I both split a pair of season tickets in Section 616. The Tuesday before the big game, we were able to score a pair of tickets. Our excitement was overwhelming as we could not wait until Friday to leave for Florida. On Friday, we hitched a ride with another friend of ours, who had a single ticket. We stayed with his family that night in Jacksonville. On Saturday, we made a pit stop at the Daytona International Speedway and watched the NASCAR Bud Shootout. After the race, we stopped at a hotel a couple hours outside of Miami.

Then came Sunday. The atmosphere was electric. With all of the Saints fans walking around the stadium, it felt like a home game. I had butterflies in my stomach as I waited for kickoff. Once the game started, I never lost faith as we fell behind early 10-6. After watching the Who, me and the other Who Dats lost our mind when we recovered the onside kick.  Then you know the rest, Drew to Pierre for 6. Hartley with his third of the game. Drew to Shockey and the beautiful two-point conversion to Lance. Then one of the greatest plays in Saints history, Louisiana native Tracy Porter with a pick-six to ice it. I remember vividly counting down the clock, 3-2-1 and as the Saints became World Champions!!!

After sitting in the stadium for almost an hour after the game, we started our trip back home. We did not have a place to stay, so we decided to drive straight back to Louisiana.  However, a few miles outside of Cape Canaveral we able to witness the launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. We finally made it back home midday Monday.

During halftime of the game, unbeknownst to me, my wife took a pregnancy test and learned that she was pregnant. After confirming it with her doctor, she decided to tell me the Tuesday after the game. Like I said, the Greatest Week of My Life!!!  My first child, Levi, was born in October of that year!!!

Brandon Guidry, Houston
When I think of that day, I think of family. The Who Dat Nation is my extended family but what made that day even better was getting to watch the game with my family. The Saints victory was amazing but what made it even better was being there with my parents, my brothers and our significant others. The Saints always brought and continue to bring my family together. That's what we do on Sundays in the fall, win or lose and that day made every heart break disappear because they can never take away that feeling of celebrating that victory with my family. The impossible dream became reality, the Saints had won the Super Bowl.


Joy Najolia, Ponchatoula
I was praying that as a season ticket holder, I would get picked from the lottery to purchase Super Bowl tickets, but that did not happen. As I was driving to my daughter's house the day before the game, she called and said she could get two tickets at face value for the Super Bowl. I told her I would babysit for my grandson so that she and her husband could go to Miami for the game. She said that Jason (my wonderful son-in-law) felt I should go with her since I had been a fan since 1967 and deserved to be there. I had to pull my car off the road for a little while as I thought I would pass out!! Once I arrived at her home and we hugged and cried and jumped up and down and hugged and cried again, she got online to book a flight for early the next day and said there were no return flights. I told her to book it! When she questioned how we were going to get home I responded, "I don't care; we're going to see the Saints play in the Super Bowl!  We'll worry about how we're getting home after the game."  

The entire experience was so surreal.  We had great seats – two levels up from the field. When Tracy Porter intercepted the ball from Peyton Manning we were holding on to each other and watching him run that interception into the end zone just below us.  I just knew we had the win after that play! And, by the way, his jersey number (22) is a very significant number in our family, so it was only fitting that number 22 pretty much sealed the deal! When I started crying after that touchdown my daughter said I had to stop. She said I had to save my tears until after the game. It didn't work; I could not and didn't stop until about an hour after the game! I have to say that besides the day I was born again into my faith with Christ and the birth of my children/grandchildren, it was the best experience of my life! I just turned 63 Jan. 10 and my biggest wish is that I get to watch my beloved boys in Black and Gold return and win another Super Bowl!!!

Terry Canova
Long before the Who Dat nation, my family bled Black and Gold. My parents were there for the Gilliam kick return and the Dempsey kick and every other Tulane Stadium highlight. My mom and aunt brought out the first birthday cake to the team as members of the first booster club.

I was born in 1967 so they have been a part of my entire life. I can count the games I've missed on one hand. While stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky., I would drive to the interstate to catch WWL on the radio.

I listened to Wayne Mack and Hap's Point After before Buddy D even came along. Names like Guido Merkins still ring in my head. Heck at 5 years old I told my mom my newborn baby brother looked like Billy Kilmer. Talk about roots, my dad coached Mr. Benson's right-hand man, Dennis Lauscha.

I was a Saints fan before it was cool to be a Saints fan. I took a lot of flack for all the local kids who were Cowboys and Steeler fans, then later 49er fans.

But after 47 years of being a diehard, and hearing my dad say, "I hope I live long enough to see the Saints in the Super Bowl," we made it. My mom and dad, my brothers and I and a new generation of Saints fans all together for the special day. And as special as it was for the entire Who Dat nation, we knew deep inside it was doubly special for the Canova boys.

Now we are praying for a second go-round.

No one loves the Saints like we do.

Mireille Pike
Too many great memories and pictures to pick just one. The best moment for me started with a phone call from the Saints telling me that my name had been picked and I could purchase two tickets to SuperBowl XLIV. That was the moment that "I Believed" the Saints would win the SuperBowl and I was Miami bound.


Ashley Dufrene, Des Allemands
A little history about our passion first:
My parents (Barbara and Wade Dufrene) and I (Ashley Dufrene) have been season ticket holders since 2004, but I personally have not missed a game since 2003. This upcoming season (2015) I will be working on 13th season straight. I haven't missed a preseason, regular season, or postseason home game. Minus the home games that were out of state during Katrina year, but I did make all in Baton Rouge.

During the Super Bowl year I had emergency surgery and was supposed to miss the Saints/Falcons Monday night game. ... I did not miss 9and) was back in the hospital Tuesday.

Another crazy event that season was my cousin was getting married the day the Saints played the Cardinals in the divisional round and I was in the wedding. I did not stand in the wedding.
My passion for the Saints goes very deep and I am very proud that I get to say I was in that number when our Saints went marching in!!!!! The NFC championship game fell the day before my 20th birthday. After we won the game, my parents looked at me in tears and said "we are going to the Super Bowl" and I responded " I know," but little did I realize is they meant it. They convinced me that we would physically be there. I was in such a shock; the next two weeks went by so slow. Along with my parents, my godmother (Hetty Breaux), my godfather (Randy Breaux Jr.) along with his parents (Julie and Randy Breaux Sr.) and our cousin (Lori Breaux) and her husband (Rodney Duhon )all made the trip.

I still can't believe that I was there. It is a memory that will live in me forever. My parents and I had Section 125 row 20, which I thought was cool at the time because my birthday is 1/25 and I had just turned 20. I thought it was meant to be. My cousin and her husband had row 13 in the same section and my godparents had row 8 in the same section. My godfather's parents were somewhere at the top.

When we entered the section my Godmother traded tickets with me. She said "Happy Birthday, Go sit at the bottom." I was surprised!!!! The first Saints game I ever attended was in 1999 with my godfather when the Saints beat Dallas in the Dome. I was hooked since. So, she thought it was fitting that I would watch the Saints first Super Bowl with him.
So, here I was at the Super Bowl sitting on row 8. I was closer than I sit in the Dome. I do not think I sat down at all that night. By the end of the game we stayed in the stadium until they made us leave. It was absolutely a dream come true and with out my parents it would not have been possible.

Charles Schreiber, New Orleans
I have a lot of great memories from that game, but there is one in particular that stands out from the rest. ...

It's the fourth quarter with 3:24 left to play, the Saints have a 24-17 lead against the mighty Colts. Peyton Manning in shotgun formation is facing a third-and-5 situation. Reggie Wayne is in the slot with Austin Collie to his left. I believe the Saints had a man on man play, but Tracy Porter was hanging pretty far back from Collie. Right before Manning calls hike Collie ran behind Wayne to confuse the corners. When this happens defenders will generally switch to a different player that they were supposed to defend against. So in this case Porter switched from Collie to Wayne. Manning calls hike, both receivers split away from each other and go about 5-6 yards and proceed in a curl route. ...  As a Saints fan watching this you're just thinking oh great, here we go, another first down for Manning, duh. And then all of the sudden out the corner of your eye you see a quick flash of white stepping in front of Wayne and running at full speed toward the opposite direction. At first I didn't understand what was going on because I couldn't believe my eyes. Did we actually just pick off Manning? IN THE SUPER BOWL??? I finally realized Tracy intercepted the ball when he was about 4-5 yards downfield. My adrenaline shot up and I immediately jumped on my friend's couch and started yelling GEAUX PORTER GEAUX! DON'T STOP! JUST KEEP MOVING! And when he made it to the Holy Land I just started to scream and laugh uncontrollably and all of my friends (except one Colts fan) tackled me to the floor. It felt like I MYSELF just won the Super Bowl! All the nervousness disappeared and I felt like I won the lotto! Although it wasn't "technically" over, it was the perfect ending for a David versus Goliath story. My favorite team the New Orleans Saints were 3:12 away from being the 2009 NFL Champions!


Tina Howell
This picture was taken right after we won the game. I don't think I've ever had a smile as big as that one and I'm so glad I was able to capture that moment. It was the moment I had always been waiting for... My team, my Saints finally won the Super Bowl. We were No. 1, We were the champions!

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