Saints bask in glow of first championship

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Wearing Mardi Gras beads and clearly exhausted from a late night of post-Super Bowl celebrations, Sean Payton leaned on a podium, clutching the Vince Lombardi trophy in his right hand.

“You can’t get enough of this,” the Saints’ head coach said at a news conference at the Fort Lauderdale convention center Monday morning. “This thing lay in my bed next to me last night, rolled over it a couple times. I probably drooled on it. But man, there’s nothing like it.”

Certainly, the New Orleans Saints never experienced anything like it. Before this one, the Saints had only two playoff victories in their previous 42 years combined.

Sunday’s 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts was their third win of this postseason.

“I had to wake up this morning and turn to my wife and say, ‘Did yesterday really happen?’ ” said Brees, the Super Bowl MVP.

“Our victory last night was the culmination of four years of hard work, fighting through a lot of adversity, ups and downs and more importantly than that, representing a city that has been through so much.”