Three Saints reminisce about ‘09 NFC Championship game

Three Saints reminisce about ‘09 NFC Championship game
Garrett Hartley's game-winning field goal against Minnesota (Michael DeMocker, nola.com/Times Picayune)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -Sunday will be just the second NFC Championship game ever played inside the Superdome. Of course, we all remember what happened in the first one when the Saints defeated the Vikings to advance to their one and only Super Bowl.

Nine years later, only three current Saints players remain from that squad: Drew Brees, Thomas Morstead and Jermon Bushrod. All three had the same initial recollection of that matchup with Minnesota.

“I remember it being extremely loud,” Bushrod said.

“I remember how loud it was,” Morstead explained.

“It was crazy,” Brees recalled." It was electric.”

It was also a matchup of the NFC’s top two seeds, just like Sunday against the Rams.

“That year we were tracking," Brees said."The Vikings were tracking. I think we all felt like that’s who were going to see in the NFC Championship game. I think this year in many respects it was kind of the same idea.”

That game was a battle of two heavyweights with crazy swings in momentum and emotion. Four quarters couldn’t settle it. It wasn’t until overtime that Garrett Hartley’s field goal sent the Saints to the Super Bowl.

“I just remember it being very emotional," Morstead said. "I remember crying after the game; I didn’t a have any history in the city or anything. It was just an awesome moment.”

And of course it led to the ultimate prize: the Lombardi Trophy. The lasting image from that day was Brees, then 31-years old and a father of one, holding his ten one-year old son Baylen. Today, Brees is 40, Baylen is ten, and the Brees family has grown to six with four kids. With his family now complete hopefully the journey will end with another Super Bowl ring that the whole family can celebrate.

“I asked my middle son the other day, we had some one-on-one time, ‘hey what’s your favorite thing to do?’ He said ‘go to the Saints facility with dad.’ So, that kind of stuff is what memories are made of. You want them to enjoy those moments and much as possible and give them those moments as much as possible.”

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