‘Ageless’ quarterbacks can win Super Bowls

    A strange week it has been.
    Here I was, wondering for months. If the Saints get to the Super Bowl, how will we navigate the ice and snow of New York City on deadline for TV each day?
    Turns out I didn’t have to worry about going to the winter weather. It unexpectedly came to us.
    If you are wondering about the Saints’ next Super Bowl chance, it is Feb. 1, 2015, in sunny Arizona. Drew Brees will be 36 by then. And, the numbers say that Brees still has a real chance to be a Super Bowl-winning quarterback.
    Peyton Manning is seven weeks shy of his 38th birthday. Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett won the Super Bowl at 36. Johnny Unitas and John Elway won NFL title games at age 37. One year later, Elway repeated at age 38.
    Unless the game was played in New Orleans, the Super Bowl used to be just the biggest thing to watch on television all year. But, my perspective changed on Feb. 7, 2010.
    The week leading up to the game was special. On Miami’s South Beach on the Thursday before the game, Saints fans outnumbered Colts fans 3 or 4 to 1. Many people from New Orleans were there, without a ticket. Our station hosted a Super Bowl party on Saturday night at a local Miami hotel.
    I wondered who would attend such a party when it was a carnival atmosphere in the streets. As it turned out – hundreds. The “Whistlemonster” was there. So, was the “Pope.”
    That night, we cut from coverage of the party to the mayoral election. Mitch Landrieu was elected mayor of the city of New Orleans. On that same day, Rickey Jackson was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Rickey became the first to go into the hall as a Saints player.
    We all know what happened that next night.
    As Tracy Porter raced down the numbers with the game-clinching interception, I was underneath the stands, waiting to get on the field to set up for our post-game live shot. The stadium staff in Miami was jumping up and down. Saints fans, I asked? “No, we just can’t stand the Colts,” said one of the staffers.
    We slept one hour Sunday night, then drove home Monday. We had to be back for Tuesday, for the victory parade.
    The following Sunday, I have never seen a crowd so thick for a parade as it was for Bacchus. That night, Bacchus XLII was Drew Brees. He did something that Charlton Heston, Jim Belushi and Henry Winkler could not. St. Charles Avenue was total gridlock. Walking one block through a sea of revelers took 10 minutes.
    I figured at some point the Saints would be back in the big game. A playoff loss at San Francisco in January 2012 kicked off a tumultuous year. Sean Payton returned from suspension this season, and the Saints were one of the most improved teams in the NFL.
    Payton insists that the much-talked-about “window” of opportunity is still wide open. History says the Saints have two or three more years, with their future Hall of Fame quarterback, to get it done.
    Ed Daniels is sports director of ABC26 WGNO. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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