February 15, 2007 | New Orleans

(Adopted from ESPN)

NEW ORLEANS — When it was finally over, a woman walked down Hillary Street and she cried. Her makeup was gone. Her eyes were red and puffy. A few blocks away, a lifelong Saints fan named Stan Gelpi looked up from his empty glass of beer at a stunned Uptown bar. An hour earlier, he'd been plotting a trip to the Super Bowl. Now, he was lost.

Then it hit him, like it hit thousands around this heartbroken town.

Men, women and children poured out of bars and houses, from Uptown to the Quarter, from New Orleans East to Metairie, and they piled into their cars. Only this time they weren't evacuating. They were going to meet their team. Some stopped at drugstores and made signs. They wrote "Thanks for an awesome season" and "We Believe" and, simply, "Bless you boys."