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Louisiana native Porter seals Saints' 'Super' win

MIAMI -- Louisiana native Tracy Porter played a crucial role in the New Orleans Saints' magical run to a Super Bowl title and their victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

A second-round draft pick out of Indiana, who grew up in Port Allen, across the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge, Porter watched the Saints every Sunday with his family and friends. He remembers bags on the heads of embarrassed fans during the lean years.

Now, the Saints have done the previously unthinkable in large part because of him in a 31-17 victory Sunday.

His 74-yard touchdown on an interception of Peyton Manning gave the Saints an insurmountable two-touchdown lead late in the fourth quarter. In the NFC title game, his late interception of Brett Favre stalled Minnesota's potential game-winning drive.

"It was great film study," Porter said of the his interception yesterday. "We knew that on third-and-short they stack, and they like the outside release for the slant."

The Saints went on to beat the Vikings in overtime to earn their first-ever Super Bowl berth.

Porter was drafted by the Saints in 2008 and earned a starting cornerback spot in his rookie season. But that year was cut short by a broken wrist in the first half of the season.

This season, Porter went down in midseason with what was thought to be a season-ending knee injury at St. Louis. The next day, Porter -- and the Saints -- got good news. It was a severe sprain. His season wasn't over. He returned in Week 15 and played brilliantly in the playoffs.

Now, during Mardi Gras, his family, friends, and Saints fans in New Orleans and all across the Gulf South have another reason to party.

"It means so much," Porter said. "Words can't describe how much this means for New Orleans."

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