It's a sad morning in Indianapolis. I'm observing a media blackout but I presume that Drew Brees was named Super Bowl MVP, and deservedly so. Still, few defensive players have has as much impact as Tracy Porter had for the Saints in their last two postseason games. In the NFC Championship, he sent the game to overtime with an interception of Brett Favre. And last night, he essentially sealed the game by intercepting a Peyton Manning pass and returning it 74 yards for a touchdown. It's a storybook ending for Porter, a lightly recruited defensive back from Port Allen, Louisiana. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Porter, as a true freshman in 2004, started his first game at IU, against Central Michigan, and intercepted two passes and returned one for a touchdown. He was drafted by his home-state Saints, worked his way into the starting lineup, and only two years into his pro career, he has a Super Bowl ring and two plays that will live forever in NFL lore. Courtney Roby, IU's all-time leader in receiving yards and an Indianapolis native, played well on special teams all night as well.
Purdue fans, even those who rooted for the Colts, will be puffing their chests out a bit about the Cradle of Quarterbacks, and who can blame them? Purdue now joins Alabama as the only school to produce three Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks. IU has a less-than-illustrious football history, but Hoosier alumni have held their own in recent Super Bowls. For the second time in five years, a former Hoosier has played a part in essentially the game-clinching play of the Super Bowl (in Super Bowl XL, it was Antwaan Randle El's 43-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward that gave the Pittsburgh Steelers a 21-10 fourth quarter lead).
I really wish it hadn't come at the expense of Manning and the Colts, but congratulations to Tracy Porter and Courtney Roby, Super Bowl champions.