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Water Boils @ 212

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; The quarterback walked in with the Vince Lombardi Trophy at his side, in the firm grip of his hand. He wore a striped business shirt and a sharp jacket, looking less like a Super Bowl MVP and more like a ...

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Old 02-09-2010, 07:55 AM   #1
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Water Boils @ 212

The quarterback walked in with the Vince Lombardi Trophy at his side, in the firm grip of his hand.

He wore a striped business shirt and a sharp jacket, looking less like a Super Bowl MVP and more like a cover model.

Hours earlier, Drew Brees had led the New Orleans Saints to their finest hour: a 31-17 victory over Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLIV, a moment that even die-hard Saints fans thought they’d never see.

Sunday night’s celebration in South Florida was long and joyous, and it flowed easily into Monday morning.

Still, if Brees hadn’t slept at all, he sure didn’t look like it. As he entered a conference room in the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center, the quarterback was himself, quietly confident, with enough smiles to go around.

The coach, meanwhile, strolled into the room with Mardi Gras beads around his neck. He wore an untucked long-sleeved shirt with the cuffs rolled up, not to mention a weary grin.

Sean Payton, who delivered a championship to a city that desperately wanted one, confirmed he did indeed go to sleep Sunday night.

Or, more accurately, Monday morning. “Four o’clock,” he said later, holding the trophy.

Monday’s news conference was standard operating procedure for the NFL. On the morning after the Super Bowl, the MVP and winning coach speak publicly one last time before they leave town.

“This is a new experience for me,” Brees said as he took the podium, sporting an ear-to-ear smile. “Am I supposed to say a few words or just answer questions?”

It was the first time in 14 hours he seemed unsure of himself. After a timid start to the Super Bowl — Brees and the Saints offense misfired through the first quarter — he slowly got down to business, completing 16 of 17 passes in the second half for two touchdowns and no interceptions.

The morning after, he reflected on his four-year journey with the Saints: “I think it starts with the kind of guys you have. ... Those guys were not only great teammates and players.”

And he spoke of the city: “Our city, our fans, gave us strength, and we owe this to them. That’s made all the difference.”

And of Payton, his coach: “Sean is a tremendous person and a tremendous family man.”

Early Monday morning, before he went to bed, Payton shared the Lombardi Trophy with his quarterbacks coach, Joe Lombardi, a grandson of the iconic Green Bay coach.

“If you believe in heaven, and you believe Vince Lombardi is there looking down on his grandson,” Payton said, “it doesn’t get any better.”

About 3 a.m., Payton took the elevator to his hotel room. He placed the Lombardi Trophy on the desk, and he did the same thing Brees had done at the very end of the Super Bowl.

Payton took a knee.

He prayed, thanking his maker for the moment, and for his time with Brees.
By now their bond is well-known — perhaps, as someone suggested Monday morning, just as strong as Brees’ bond with his wife, Brittany.

“In a different way,” Brees conceded, smiling.

Two offseasons ago, on the heels of a promising 2007 that ended with a rotten 7-9 record, Brees handed Payton a book called “212°: The Extra Degree,” which stresses the importance of effort.

The book got its title from a simple scientific fact: At 211 degrees, water doesn’t boil; at 212 degrees, it does. All it takes is a little extra effort, one more degree.

With the book, Brees included a note. As well-chronicled in several reports, the note read:

You are the reason I’m here, and I’m thankful for that every day. There is no one in this league I would rather play for. I want to win a championship here.

Sunday night, after Super Bowl XLIV in Miami’s Sun Life Stadium, Brees and Payton had the championship they, and the Saints, had worked so hard to attain.

Monday morning, the magnitude of the moment started to sink in.

A few minutes after their final media duties ended, Payton and Brees slowly made their way out the conference room on the third floor of the bright, vibrant Convention Center. A small crowd gathered around each of the New Orleans icons, hoping for photographs, autographs or one more question. Well-dressed handlers started to whisk the two men away.

For a few moments, Payton and Brees drifted apart. Just then, the coach called out his quarterback’s name. They sifted through a few bodies, shook hands and hugged. Then, as they parted ways, they pounded fists one more time.

A mob followed along as they rode down an escalator, off to their drivers and to the airport.

They were headed back, eventually, to New Orleans, to the city they loved, to the city that loved them back.

Payton and Brees weren’t home yet; at the moment, they and New Orleans weren’t together. But already, they seemed to know their love for each other had grown.

It had, in fact, reached another degree.

Merely a guess but Vilma boils at any temp.

Apportez le bois. Deux cela. Qui est celui?
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