Put away those paper bags forever.
"We just believed in ourselves and we knew that we had an entire city and maybe an entire country behind us," said Brees, the game's MVP. "What can I say? I tried to imagine what this moment would be like for a long time, and it's better than expected."
But not something many expected from these descendants of the hapless Aints, who were five-point underdogs.
"Four years ago, who ever thought this would be happening when 85 percent of the city was under water from (Hurricane) Katrina," Brees said. "Most people not knowing if New Orleans would ever come back or if the organization and the team would come back. ... This is the culmination of that belief and that faith."
Brees tied a Super Bowl record with 32 completions, the last a 2-yard slant to Jeremy Shockey for the winning points with 5:42 remaining. He was 32 for 39 for 288 yards.
Porter's pick, just as dramatic as his interception of Brett Favre's pass to force overtime in the NFC title game, was the game's only turnover. It's one Manning will forever regret.
The Saints (16-3) won three postseason games this winter after winning only two in the previous 42 years. They beat Arizona, Minnesota and Indianapolis (16-3) -- all division winners -- for their first title, scoring 107 points and allowing only 59.
"We weren't the Aints," Porter said. "We were a team of destiny, a team that can make big plays."
The championship came 4 ½ years after Katrina ravaged New Orleans, making the Saints nomads for the 2005 season. There even was some doubt they would return, but the NFL refused to abandon the city. The Superdome was repaired and the Saints won the NFC South in '06, their first season with Brees and Payton.
» Colts S Aaron Francisco joined Eugene Robinson (1997 GB, 1998 ATL) as the only players in NFL history to lose back-to-back Super Bowls with two different teams (Francisco lost with Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII).
» Peyton Manning threw for at least 300 yards in a playoff game for the eighth time in his career (the most in NFL history).
That was the season Manning won his only Super Bowl. He got the Colts off to a quick start and had them in front for much of this one, but New Orleans' league-leading offense, which scored 510 points this season, outscored Indy 31-7 after falling behind 10-0. That matched the biggest comeback in a Super Bowl.
Nobody can say it now.
"Everybody back in New Orleans gets a piece of this trophy," he said.
"I think I could kiss him," owner Tom Benson said.
"I just told our guys you've got to make me look good on this," Payton said. "That really becomes like a turnover."
Manning simply shrugged, found Dallas Clark for 45 yards on a 76-yard drive, and Joseph Addai used a spin move a figure skater would envy to score from the 4.
But that was it for Indy.
"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."
Hartley, the hero of the NFC title game with his 40-yard field goal in OT, made a 47-yarder later in the third quarter. After Matt Stover was wide left on a 51-yarder early in the final quarter, Brees led the biggest drive in Saints history.
"We really felt as underdogs we had the better team," Payton said. "To be in that position where maybe a lot of people were picking against us, we liked the spot we were in."
New Orleans couldn't match that, but did get a 46-yard field goal by Hartley to make it 10-3. Brees was sacked on third down by All-Pro defensive end Dwight Freeney, who sure looked frisky despite ligament damage in his right ankle that made his availability uncertain for two weeks.
Then Indy's defense, ranked 18th during the season but staunch in the playoffs, really showed some power. After the Saints marched 71 yards, including 40 yards on two receptions by Marques Colston, New Orleans had third-and-goal at the 1. Mike Bell slipped trying to run right behind All-Pro guard Jahri Evans, and Thomas was stacked up at the line by Gary Brackett and Clint Session on fourth down.
But the Colts ran three times and punted after getting the ball back, leaving 35 seconds for the league's most prolific offense to get in position for Hartley's 44-yard field goal and a more manageable 10-6 halftime deficit.
Shootout? More like a slowdown. Indy had two three-and-outs and New Orleans had one.
"Look around the stadium," linebacker Scott Fujita said. "It was like 6- or 7-to-1 (Saints fans). The black and gold just poured into Miami.
"The whole world was behind us. This was bigger than just a game for the Saints. We are the world's team."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press