It was a surreal experience, being on assignment at Super Bowl XLIV, it was my first ever Super Bowl and I admit I was blown away, I’ve covered the BCS Championship game, but the atmosphere surrounding the Super Bowl was like no other. I arrived over four hours before the game began and just sat there for a while taking it all in, that I was there covering what is considered to be sports premier event the Super Bowl.
This Super Bowl was like no other, it was special as the team I have followed since childhood was making their first appearance in the big game, the laughing stocks of the league for the better part of 43-years had finally shed their tag as losers as they were in Super Bowl XLIV. Despite making it to the game however the New Orleans Saints still were not getting the respect they deserved, getting to the game wasn’t enough, winning the Super Bowl could change the face of a franchise and a city, winning the Super Bowl was the goal.
For the start of the game me and a photography buddy of mine Matt Stamey of the Houma Courier decided to make our way to the top of the stadium for some pregame overall looks of the stadium. We picked a corner section where there were some Saints fans from his coverage area attending the Super Bowl. The walk up wasn’t so bad, but carrying the equipment I had was not an easy task. I was carrying two bodies, and four lenses including a 400mm and 800mm that I got through Canon’s CPS program, a special thank you to Canon for your assistance. Below is a look from the top row just before kickoff during a flyover.
It was a rocky start for the Saints as Indianapolis Colts quarter Peyton Manning appeared to easily move his team down field with the passing game, and early on the Saints defense had some trouble getting to Manning in the pocket.
The Colts would go on to an early 10-0 lead, but if you’ve watched the Saints play in 2009 you know that no lead is safe and the Saints chipped away at that lead as kicker Garret Hartley pulled New Orleans within four with a field goal to end the half at 10-6.
The second half would prove to be almost all Saints as they opened the third quarter with an onside kick where the Saints drove down and completed a screen to running back Pierre Thomas for a touchdown that gave the Saints their first lead of the game at 13-10, I was seated in the opposite side of the field and didn’t have a clean look at the play. The Colts would strike back with a touchdown to take a 17-13 lead, New Orleans would follow with a field goal on their next drive to cut that lead to 17-16.
Brees would drive the Saints near the goaline where Saints head coach called for a pass to tight end Jeremy Shockey.
Shockey followed the touchdown with a celebration, one of my favorite shots from the Super Bowl.
The Saints knowing that Peyton Manning could drive the field on them decided to go for two points and connected with Lance Moore for the conversion, the play was initially called incomplete but a review showed Moore completed the catch giving the Saints a 24-17 lead.
Indianapolis would begin a fourth quarter drive and appeared that they would tie the game, but then cornerback Tracey Porter picked off a Manning pass and brought it back 70-yards for a touchdown giving the Saints their margin of victory at 31-17.
The celebration followed in the endzone.
Here are a few more of my favorite shots from the Super Bowl.
I close this post with a stadium view following the Saints first Super Bowl win, Who Dat say gonna beat Dem Saints?
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