Photograph by Jonathan Bachman
The funnest part about the Saints Super Bowl victory has to be the sort of mock hubris the Saints players and coaches have shown as part of their celebration. Whether it's Drew Brees going mad with power or Sean Payton pissing off Jerry Jones, these are moments for Who Dats everywhere to cherish (after all, when else have the Saints had any sort of reason to act this dickish?)
If you haven't heard, Peter King over at Sports Illustrated gives you this story of Coach Payton, a Saints victory dinner and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' favorite bottle of wine:
On Friday night, the Saints' staff at the combine gathered in a private room at St. Elmo Steakhouse, an 108-year-old Indy landmark, for a final celebratory nod to the Super Bowl win over the Colts. This is a group that likes its wine, and likes to have fun.
At the restaurant, word passed that Dallas owner Jerry Jones would have his Dallas group in this exact room Saturday night for a team dinner. Jones had even phoned ahead, according to a waiter, to make sure a magnum of a wine he loved, Caymus Special Selection cabernet sauvignon, was ready to be served at dinner.
Sean Payton told the waiter he'd like to have that wine, too. The waiter told him: Sorry, sir. We have only one bottle left, and it's reserved for Mr. Jones.
Payton said he'd like to have the bottle nonetheless. I assume there was much angst on the part of the wait staff at that point. My God! Who do we piss off? One of the most powerful owners in the NFL, or the coach who's the toast of the NFL, the coach who just won the Super Bowl?
Here came the bottle of Caymus Special Selection, and the Saints' party drained it.
But drinking Jones' wine wasn't enough. Payton gave the waiter some instructions, took out his pen ... and, well, the Cowboys party found at the middle of their table the next evening an empty magnum of Caymus Special Selection cabernet sauvignon, with these words hand-written on the fancy label:
World Champions XLIV
That's the kind of thing Jones will get a big laugh out of. And remember.
Now on the surface, this looks like Payton having a lot of (deserved) fun. Saints fans will surely get a kick out of Payton rubbing it to the owner of the team that ended the Saints' bid at a perfect season. But how will the rest of the country receive it? You know, the Boston Red Sox were everyone's darling team too. And then they won the World Series and now everyone thinks they and their fans are just a bunch of smarmy jerks.
Regardless of how the rest of the country sees it (and who cares, really?) dealing with a Championship is new territory for the Saints and New Orleans, and it's really been a lot of fun watching all unfold.