The New Orleans Saints are the feel-good sports story of the year. How could you not root for a team that has inspired New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and become a symbol for the city's determination to rebuild?
Sportswriters have responded accordingly, professing their hearts are with the Saints going into the Super Bowl. But when it came time to actually pick a winner, they went with their heads: Peyton Manning and the uber-talented Colts.
- "Sorry, Heart" ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski wastes no time addressing--and then dismissing--his sentimental feelings for the Saints. "My heart says to pick the New Orleans Saints," he opens. "For the city. For those fans. For guys like Drew Brees and Deuce McAllister. But every other body part says to go with the Indianapolis Colts. Sorry, heart."
- The Peyton Manning Show Sports Nation's Vinnie Iyer argues the Colts quarterback will be the one seizing the moment. "As much as New Orleans is a sentimental favorite, for Manning and everyone else, he's also well aware of NFL history," he writes. "Getting a second ring puts him in rarefied air. He won't allow that opportunity to pass him by."
- Predicting With Your Brain After listing all the reasons why the Saints deserve this Super Bowl win more than the Colts, ESPN's Rick Reilly succinctly sums up his heart/brain dilemma.
In summary, you must either have had your heart removed by corn tongs or be in the Manning family if you're not pulling for the Saints. Betting on them? You must've had your brain removed. "Yeah, it's kind of a bummer about the Saints," Archie says. "But you know, it's a good organization. The Saints will go again." If that sounded like a prediction, it was.