The Kansas City Chiefs were represented in the pre and post game ceremonies by Brian Waters and Len Dawson, respectively. There were also former Chiefs playing for both teams in the Super Bowl, highlighted by starting Saints linebacker Scott Fujita. After his team won 31-17, he was understandably excited, reports Bob Gretz.
“This is about so much more than just the game. This is so much more than a win. This is much, much bigger.”
“We never doubted we were going to win,” Fujita said. “We felt that back on Tuesday when we first walked into this stadium. There was just never a doubt because we were playing not just for ourselves, not just for each other, but for an entire city and region. All we wanted to do was give New Orleans a championship.
“I can’t wait to get back home. I wish we were leaving tonight, but this is going to be one great party, and let me tell you, this team knows how to party and we live in a city that knows how to party.”
The Saints became the 18th NFL franchise to earn a Super Bowl championship. It was their first in the 43-year history of the franchise. They were the first No. 1 seed from either conference to win the title since the New England Patriots in 2003. Payton became the 28th head coach to win a Super Bowl and it was the fifth straight year that the winning team was coached by a first-time Super Bowl winner.
The streets of South Beach and the highways and byways south Florida were dominated all week by the Who Dat? Nation. The scene around the stadium was four-to-one Saints fans over Colts fans. And when the game was over, all the Saints wanted to do is celebrate with those fans and the thousands who crowded Bourbon Street like it was Fat Tuesday.
“I was getting text messages and e-mail all week from people and they said the same thing: you are playing for New Orleans and we are with you,” said Fujita. “I got texts from Italy and England. So much more was going on here.
“And now we get to celebrate. It will be a Mardi Gras that never ends.”
The other prominent member of either team with ties to the Chiefs was Colts guard Ryan Lilja, but he was only with the team for a couple of months. So when I had to pick a team to root for from a Kansas City perspective, it was an easy decision. Not to mention that you can’t go wrong with a former Purdue quarterback (even if he started his career in San Diego).
No city is more deserving of a parade than New Orleans and if you have a few days (or weeks) free you should head down there now for what will be a never ending party.