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Page last updated at 02:56 GMT, Monday, 8 February 2010

Super Bowl XLIV as it happened

Tracy Porter scores a touchdown for New Orleans

Watch - Porter's 74-yard interception touchdown


To get involved, tweet @martingough_bbc , use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide). (Not all contributions can be used)

By Martin Gough

0308: Drew Brees has his one-year-old son in his arms and is crying his eyes out. The quarterback, who has been a figurehead for the recovery of New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina, who was discarded by his last team, San Diego, is the NFL's MVP and the Super Bowl MVP. The Saints are champions and the party has started in Miami. From London, we'll sign off after another Super Sunday.

If you enjoy staying up into the small hours to watch sport from North America, don't forget the Winter Olympics start in the wee hours of Saturday morning UK time.

From Egonporter on Twitter: "FAO Tony Dungy: Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?"

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From manfrombelmonty on 606: "Surely nobody anywhere could have seen predicted the Saints would outscore Indy 31-7 after being 10-0 down. I may have predicted game over at that point, but I am very happy to be proved incredibly wrong. Great game. "

Saints quarterback Drew Brees: "We just believed in ourselves. We knew we had an entire city and maybe an entire country behind us. Mardi Gras may never end. The celebrations may never end."

Saints head coach Sean Payton: "We talked about it at half-time and it's a credit to every one of these players. They carried out the plan, I'm proud of this team, the coaching staff and everybody bvack in New Orleans gets a piece of this trophy."

New Orleans owner Tom Benson: "Not only the city but the whole state of Louisiana is back and this shows the whole world."

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell: "Tonight the two best teams in the NFL played a classic game but tonight the Super Bowl belongs to the city of New Orleans."

0257: Former Kansas City quarterback Len Dawson carried the Vince Lombardi Trophy out and is mobbed by Saints on his way to the stage

0254: Drew Brees hugs coach Sean Payton as the souvenir hats and teeshirts are passed around. Brees has been named Most Valuable Player. Payton's call for an unprecedented onside kick to start the second half was a game-changer.

0254: Drew Brees hugs coach Sean Payton as the souvenir hats and teeshirts are passed around. Brees has been named Most Valuable Player. Payton's call for an unprecedented onside kick to start the second half was a game-changer.

Studio analyst Alex Smith: "It's such a great story all year, with Hurricane Katrina and the rebuilding of the city and the team."

0244: SAINTS WIN 31-17
There isn't any time to go through the story lines of how the Saints, whose fans used to wear brown paper bags over their heads, who didn't have a winning season for 20 years, whose city was decimated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, are NFL champions. Tickertape, hugs aplenty. Saints win, world champs (if you will).

0243:That is the game. Addai is stopped short on third and goal then Wayne fails to hang on to a pass from Manning in the endzone. Just 44 seconds left and the Saints are taking knees.

0240:Jabari Greer makes a pick in the endzone but is out of bounds.

0239: The Colts are almost better in the no-huddle offence, with Addai taking two catches over the middle. There is a personal foul against Hargrove for a late hit and the Colts move to the four.

0236: If anyone can turn this around, though, Manning can, hitting Clark for a first down then Collie for 41 yards on a skinny post pattern as we reach the two-minute warning.

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From Thorpey19 on 606: "Manning. Eat it!! Just eat it!! You just cost your team the Super Bowl!! "

That sounds harsh but Manning made a very poor decision to go to his primary receiver, who was well covered.

That could be the game. On third and five, Manning looks for his favourite target Reggie Wayne but corner Tracy Porter steps in front, picks it off and takes it 74 yards to the house. We were just considering the possibility of overtime; now the Colts need two scores in just over three minutes.

0226: Defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove is writing in pain, holding his knee, so there is an injury time out with 3'24 remaining in the game, Colts on the New Orleans 31.

From tonycottam on Twitter: "If the Saints take this, Sean Payton is MVP - great challenge on the 2 pointer and the best call ever at the 2nd half kick off "

0224: Manning gets a first down but is lucky not to be picked off, touching the fingertips of corner Malcolm Jenkins on the left sideline.

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From Paul Jamieson via text: "Which cheerleaders do they use for the Super Bowl? The cheerleaders for both teams, the Miami cheerleaders or do they pick a few of the best ones from around the NFL? As you can tell this is the level of conversation after a few cans..."

The NFC side is the home team this year - it rotates - so the Saints cheerleaders are on the sidelines. [Insert chauvinistic comment of choice].

The video review showed Moore in possession as he breaks the plane of the goal. Doesn't matter whether he holds it on the ground. Now the Colts need a TD just to tie it up.

Jeremy Shockey - who reportedly is pretty intimidating in his underpants - makes the catch on the right just short of the goal line and bulldozes over. Rather than kicking, the Saints go for two but Lance Moore doesn't look like he can hold on. We may see a review here.

0212: Brees finds second tight end David Thomas at the five then Thomas bashes right to the two.

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From Bert in Finchley via text: "Pierre Thomas is providing the smoothest running from a number 23 since Darren Bent was in his Spurs prime … whenever that was."

0209: Pierre Thomas can bash for short yards like a fullback and catch short passes like a slot receiver. Most underrated player in the league? Yards keep coming with short passes to the left.

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From super_stevie_f on 606: "Silly question - doesn't Dylan Hartley play for the Northampton Saints and Garrett Hartley play for the New Orleans Saints?"

Yes they do. I called the Saints kicker Dylan for the first time at 0018 GMT and it took you this long to notice. Shame on all of you.

Stover is forced to try from 51 yards out and it is too far for the veteran, just fading wide of the left upright. Saints will take over at midfield now.

0204: Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma makes a tackle for a loss in the backfield then drops deep into coverage to break up a pass on third and long.

0200: Manning hits Garcon on an in route for a first down to the 46. A bit of a stutter here and they go for it on fourth and two. Job done. Wayne takes it on a quick slant.

Addai converts a simple second and inches as the time ticks off on this quarter, with the Colts possibly having a slight advantage but certainly all to play for in the final period.

0153: Of course, that was a field goal, rather than a touchdown, by Hartley. If you hit refresh you need never know that I inadvertently copy-pasted the wrong text.

0152: The Colts will have a tough task to score here as Chad Simpson is bottled up on the 10-yard line.

Garrett Hartley for MVP! The young kicker steps up for his third field goal attempt of more than 40 yards and, again, calmly slots it through the uprights to keep the Saints in touch.

0148: Brees is getting longer to pass now but a loss on one pass sees them face a third and long which they can't overcome.

0143: As this drive gets under way, Drew Brees has completed 21 of 27 passes for 215 yards, while Manning has 15 of 22 for 149. Brees completes another one to Bush over the middle for another first down.

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From anon via text: "I want the Saints to win for the fairytale, but the Colts offensive line has been amazing so far. Manning has had so much time with the ball in hand. "

Addai romps in from four yards out and that is the perfect response from Indy, who marched 76 yards in 10 plays, covering five minutes and 26 seconds.

0137: Colts move inside the five with another catch by Clark over the middle. The fact Manning keeps looking to Clark shows how good the coverage is elsewhere but the Saints need to cover the tight end too.

0135: On third and four, Manning doesn't even feel a whiff of pressure as he rolls right and slots a pass through heavy coverage to Dallas Clark for a gain of 26. Unruffled.

0133: Peyton Manning completes his first pass for 70 minutes, since the first quarter, then Addai gets successive first downs with a catch then a run right and the Colts look fresh after warming the bench for so long.

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From Thorpey19 on 606: "Talk about converting on the opportunity from the special teams play! Sean Payton - take a bow son, take a bow."

0131: Here's a stellar fact from the TV guys - this was the first ever onside kick in a Super Bowl outside of the fourth quarter. It will be on the highlight reels for a generation if the Saints can hold the lead.

BBC Sport
TV analyst and 49ers quarterback Alex Smith: "So much about American football is about momentum and clearly now the Saints have it."

What a turnaround, with 13 unanswered points from the Saints. Thomas caps the drive by taking a screen pass on the right from 16 yards out, cutting to the middle and stumbling the last five untouched for the score.

0125: Brees is knocking off quick passes all over the field, negating the effects of the Colts pass rush. Dwight Freeney having some treatment on his ankle on the sideline. Thomas bashes for another first down.

0124: Pierre Thomas catches, bashes and rolls for a first down and the Saints have put in place a massive momentum shifter here.

0121: Chaos at kick-off as the Saints go for an audacious onside kick! Shouts of "blue ball" but there are bodies flying all over the place. It was a big gamble as if the Colts get it, they will have great field position. They don't! Saints first down! Great call, Sean Payton.

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0119: There are 415 comments on the 606 thread so far and only 207 of them are from my glamorous assistant Tim Love, who is also doing a sterling job providing refreshments and putting together the photo gallery .

0116: We could have a game-deciding passage of play coming up, once they have cleared the stage from the middle of the field. If the Colts score here, Manning will be able to dictate terms. If the Saints stop them, they have a chance to establish their running game properly. I'll stick with the original prediction of a Saints win for now.

From JKay85 on Twitter: "Do BBC1 really have to keep cutting back to the studio between every play? Just seems like it breaks the atmosphere... "

Because of the unique way the BBC is funded, JKay, you are watching what could be the only Super Bowl broadcast in the world without advert breaks. When US TV goes to commercials, the BBC goes back to the studio. This, admittedly, means we don't get to see the Budweiser Lingerie Bowl but hey.

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From Adrian in Kenya via text: "It's 4am here and I'm watching live. My eyes are getting heavy. Not sure I can last another half. Good luck Saints!"

0110: Of course the NFL has tended to go for older bands at half-time after the Janet Jackson "Wardrobe Malfunction" incident of 2004, photos of which you will easily be able to find if you wish to relive the incident.

0107: Wonder what Townshend would have been like as a quarterback. That trademark windmill guitar thrash is getting a decent airing this evening.

0102: Grizzled rockers Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend take centre stage for a medley of hits. They're playing live, which is admirable, but the sound quality isn't wonderful as they kick off with Pinball Wizard, fireworks all over the place. Baba O'Reilly is a lot better, though.

From AaronJWood86 on Twitter: "Watching American Football for the first time haven't got a clue what's going on but heck it's quite fun."

Strange you should say that, Aaron. Why not have a look at a few of those video guides? Start with the guide to the basics , move on to former London Monarch Gerry Anderson's guide to key players , then ask yourself just what former Dolphins linebacker John Offerdahl is on with his guide to tackling

0054: All to play for in that second half, which will probably kick off in around 25 minutes' time. Stick around, though, for The Who at half time.

Colts coach Jim Caldwell: "They did a nice job moving the ball on us, we had a big stop keeping them out of the endzone but our guys have got to step it up."

Hartley does the business at the end of a quarter that has seen the Colts snap the ball just six times and gain just 15 yards.

0048: Looks like the Saints may be able to rescue three here as Brees finds Henderson on the left at the 27. Bush makes a grab for one more so a 44-yard attempt for Hartley.

0047: Not a great punt but Reggie Bush - "the Bush you can support" says Mike Carlson - can't move it from his own 47. Up steps Brees and finds Devery Henderson on the 33, though, and they're almost in field goal range.

0045: Colts fail to convert a third and short and the Saints take a timeout with 46 seconds remaining.

0043: No reason for the Colts to go crazy as the seconds tick out on the first half. They will receive the kick-off to start the third quarter. Wonder whether Sean Payton is now wishing he had kicked the field goal.

0042: STOPPED! New Orleans go for it on fourth down and run with Thomas over right tackle but there is no blocker on the cornerback, he makes the stop and the Colts hold.

0039: On third and goal, back Mike Bell trips at the two-yard line and the Colts defence looks like it will keep New Orleans to a field goal here.

BBC Sport
TV studio analyst Mike Carlson: "The Saints are already thinking ahead by going to the two-minute warning and they want to leave as little time as possible for Peyton Manning to run that two-minute drill."

0035: Backed up by a false-start penalty, the Saints get to the one with a bashing run from Thomas. That's the two-minute warning with New Orleans aiming to tie things up.

0032: Colston finds a hole up the middle and Brees hits him for a gain of 27. Saints camped out on the three.

0030: Brees finds Colston on the left for a first down then hits Shockey for the first time in the game. My glamorous assistant once interviewed Shockey in his underpants in the Wembley locker-room - Ben Sherman, apparently. Brees finds Lance Moore (scorer of a TD at Wembley) for 21 on the left.

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From Rich in NC via text: "Saints need to get a running game going as the Colts secondary is just sitting back and waiting for the pass, all Brees can see is great coverage ."

Thomas and Bush are both doing the job when asked, too. Maybe Sean Payton should look at what the Colts achieved on their scoring drive and calm down a little.

0028: Saints start at their 28 and there's a sharp intake of breath for Brees, who fires over tight end Jeremy Shockey and only just out of reach of safety Antoine Bethea.

0023: As usual, Manning takes plenty of time at the line of scrimmage, reading what the defence has to offer and changing accordingly. There is finally a hiccough in this Colts drive, though, as Garcon puts down a pass on third and four. Punt.

0021: Colts run the kick-off back to around the 22. The Saints will have to think harder now about how they stop Freeney. Jermon Bushrod is an injury replacement at left tackle and will need an extra hand.

Kicker Garrett Hartley, hero of a fortnight ago, is given a tough job from 46 yards out but he slots it right down the middle to get the Saints on the scoreboard.

0017: There's nothing wrong with that ankle! Dwight Freeney overpowers the left tackle and takes Brees down in third and four.

0014: There's some necessary roughness from Pierre Thomas, here, a bruising screen for nine then a plunge over left guard for two and the first down. Freeney gets his spin going but not before Brees finds Colston for another first to the 29.

0011: Brees gets a useful first down to Colston over the linebacker on the right sideline. Here's a drive-maker: Bush is hit out of bounds by Colts backer Philip Wheeler and there is a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness.

You may have expected the Colts to be up at this point but whodathunk Indy would have run the length of the field to do it? Establishing dominance on the ground could be a real key. Meanwhile, the Saints' offence only managed 36 yards all quarter.

0006: There's a holding penalty on the return and the Saints will have to turn things around from their own 11-yard line.

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From 23 years, 7 months and counting on 606: "A+ drive for the Colts. The points, turning around really bad field position, keeping Freeney and the rest fresh on the sideline, and Addai gets going and now the play action is a factor."

0003: Just watching the play again. I thought there might have been some play action to pull the defensive back but there wasn't. Garcon simply outran the cornerback.

Manning caps a 96-yard drive with a pass to Pierre Garcon in the right corner of the endzone. That ties the longest drive in Super Bowl history and will really have taken the wind out of the Saints' sails.

2359: It should have been a yard and a cloud of dust on third and one but decent blocking up the middle sets up a shimmying Addai for his longest run in three years - 26 yards.

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From manfrombelmonty on 606: "Saint D is looking as leaky ad it did in the NFC Championship game. If they don't stop Indy from scoring a TD on this drive this game is as good as over ."

Premature, IMHO.

2357: Another first down for Addai, running the stretch play left behind a block from Reggie Wayne. This will stop the Saints focussing on the passing game.

2355: Manning is quickly out of trouble with a dink pass to back-up running-back Donald Brown for 11 yards then Joseph Addai makes a rare break up the middle for another first down. This is supposed to be the worst running team in the league.

2350: Leading saints receiver Marques Colston isn't having much luck so far. He takes his eye off the first one and sees a defender break up another. Cracking punt from Thomas Morstead, though and Indy will start at their four yard line.

2348: On third and six, Brees finds Reggie Bush with a neat, short pass up the middle for 16. Bush could be a star here. He doesn't do cake very well but he does very good icing and candles.

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From Finkle-and-Einhorn on 606: "Might be worth saying that the Colts have scored TDs on 66% of their red-zone visits this season and points on 89%, the Saints record is 58% and 85%."

It might, Finkle, but you've already done it so nicely. Thank you.

2344: Roby coughs up the kick-off there but it is safely recovered by another Saint and they will start somewhere around the 25.

Manning throws in front of Garcon and is incomplete on third and five. It's time for Matt Stover, the oldest player in Super Bowl history at 42 years and 11 days, to slot home from 38 yards with 7'29 left in the first quarter.

From RevellWriting on Twitter: "Aces beat Derby Braves 42-6"

Too much time in the chippy, Derby boys.

2338: Pierre Garcon, whose family is from Haiti, sees action for the first time but Manning is under pressure on third and seven when he finds rookie receiver Austin Collie on a crossing pattern. Smooth from Indy so far.

2337: Looks like Clark and Saints strong safety Roman Harper will have a decent battle this evening. Clark snags another to convert on third and four but Harper then breaks up a pass.

2335: It sounds like a Saints home game in Miami, with a raucous crowd shouting for New Orleans. Peyton Manning finds tight end Dallas Clark up the middle for a first down off the very first play.

2334: Running-back Pierre Thomas gets the ball twice to start things, with a plunge up the middle and a screen left but Saints quarterback Drew Brees tries to go deep on third down and two and is incomplete. They punt.

2331: Flashbulbs aplenty for the kick-off. Courtney Roby take it for the Saints and they will start at the 23, with Freeney on the field for the Colts.

2330: Woodson picks the Saints, and I finally get a prediction right. Mike Carlson says Saints too. Ready for kick-off now.

2327: New Hall of Fame inductees Rickey Jackson, Russ Grimm, Floyd Little, Dick LeBeau, Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith are at half-way for the coin toss.

Saints call heads, win the toss and will receive the kick-off to start this game. It's the 13th straight coin toss the NFC team has won.

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From Phil in London via text: "If Manning wins his second Super Bowl ring, will it solve the Brady v Manning argument for best QB in NFL?"

Well Brady already has three rings, Phil, so I'm thinking no.

2320: Obligatory huge US flag is unfurled before Carrie Underwood gives us a rousing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Red rockets burst for the line "rockets' red glare".

2318: Queen Latifa steps up to sing America the Beautiful, and does a bit of a break-out improvisation at the end with some schoolchildren. Hmm.

2317: Time to present the Walter Payton Man of the Year award to the league's top humanitarian. It goes to Brian Waters of the Kansas City Chiefs.

2314: Freeney is stretching on the field and it looks like he's going to play but how effective is he going to be? His favourite move is a spin at high speed and that's not going to be very easy with a bum ankle.

2311: It sounds like boos but the crowd are screaming "Who Dat?" as the Saints take the field. Then, fireworks go off as the Colts take the field to the strains of The Who's "Won't get Fooled Again".

Those aged British rockers, reborn thanks to CSI, are performing a medley of classics at half-time. I'm quite excited about that, too, to be honest.

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From ohcantona on 606: "I am so excited that my beloved saints are in the Super Bowl, after Hurricane Katrina 6 years ago, I thought, That's it, no more Saints. If we win, I'm gonna go for Mardi Gras this year and have a BIG party."

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From Tristan in Australia via text: "'Hard' at work here on a hot Monday morning in Adelaide, following the BBC live updates with my hand never far away from refresh button. Who Dats by a TD."

You shouldn't need to refresh, Tristan. It should just scroll from the top. Hope you enjoy.

If you like discussing the NFL on 606 you may have a pleasant surprise this evening. Chat away without having to keep an eye on the clock.

From davidatl44 on Twitter: "Hey Martin. Regards from Ohio. What do you see in the UK during timeouts? In US we see great commercials for SB."

Welcome back, David. We get extra analysis from the studio back in London. Niners QB Alex Smith is alongside Mike Carlson, who is a veteran UK-based analyst. Mike played on the same high school football team as one Bill Bellichick, who went on to become head coach of the New England Patriots.

2301: Hall of Fame cornerback Rod Woodson is with Matt Roberts in the BBC booth in Miami. He hasn't come out with a prediction but he'll go for the underdog, always does.

2258: Who's that on the couch with Jake Humphrey? Why it's Alex Smith and he doesn't even look flustered by his late dash through TVC to get to the studio. If he can deal with that, he'll have no bother against the Broncos pass rush at Wembley come October.

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From paulh_66 on 606: "I'm looking forward to seeing if the Saints can get to Manning. He's only been sacked 10 times this season, and having seen how Warner and Favre were consistently put under pressure in the last two Saints game, it'll be a real key to the game if they can do the same tonight."

Good point, paulh, and the Saints seem to manage to get pressure without big names on defence. Meanwhile the Indianapolis pass rush could be hit as defensive end Dwight Freeney is carrying an ankle injury. We wait to see just how much that affects his speed off the edge.

2254: Sun Life Stadium is already buzzing as the players finish their warm-ups and head back to the locker-rooms. And we're under way on BBC TV. If you're reading on the web in the UK, hit refresh to see live video.

2248: The two coaches on show tonight are Jim Caldwell and Sean Payton. Caldwell, who took over from Tony Dungy less than a year ago, is bidding to become just the third rookie coach to win a Super Bowl. Payton has rebuilt this Saints team since taking over in 2006. The Saints wear the same colours as the team Payton played for in 1987, Leicester Panthers. A ginger-haired youngster used to watch quarterback Payton in action back then, one Arlo White, who you can hear commentating tonight on 5 live sports extra or on TV via your red button.

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From Russ in London via text: "So looking forward to Manning v Brees. Just think Manning will have too much and tip Colts to win by 7. "

2245: The Super Bowl isn't the only game of American football that has been going on today, of course. As you will know if you were reading the live text a fortnight ago , British student team the Derby Braves hosted the Loughborough Aces at lunchtime. I joked that I would send my mum down to watch, then had a phone call from her at lunchtime, on the sidelines at Kedleston Road, Derby! She even took some photos .

The Braves also welcomed BBC East Midlands Today sports reporter (and former Apprentice contestant) Ian Stringer to training this week. As you can see if you watch the video , they didn't go easy on him.

Haven't heard a final score from Derby yet so if you were there please update me.

2242: TV Centre reception have just been on the phone. Alex Smith, starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, is waiting to get in. He has 13 minutes before TV goes on air.

From BBC 5 Live commentator Arlo White on Twitter: "Just been for a stroll around the field. Reg Bush jogged passed, he's in the zone. Atmos building. Colts fans in seats, Saints fans in bars!"

2238: Indianapolis won their first 14 games and New Orleans won their first 13 but both fell short of the "perfect season" - 16 successive victories, followed by a Super Bowl victory. Two years ago, New England managed all 16, but then fell to the Giants at the final hurdle. Only one team has been perfect through a season in the Super Bowl era and that's the 1972 Miami Dolphins. Former Phins running back Mercury Morris talks the talk to Arlo as if it were yesterday.

From Adam9309 on Twitter: "Got an English test tomorrow morning, but this is the Super Bowl. Miles more important. Head says Colts, heart says Saints."

Lots of you getting involved with Twitter already, which is great. Hope you stick with us all evening.

2232: My glamorous assistant this evening is Tim Love, who will be delving through your contributions, picking the best and sending them over, and spending some quality time with his cult following on 606 . He will also be adding a uniquely British feel to our Super Bowl evening by making plenty of builders' tea. Milk, two sugars, please Love.

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From Saint_Bruce on 606: "I would love for Saints to win. I think they've gained many fans, including me since the Wembley clash. No NFL team could lift a city as much as New Orleans could do with a win tonight! "

2229: If you were waiting for a prediction from British golf great Nick Faldo, wait no more. Colts will edge it, says Nick, who is settling into life as a commentator in the US.

2227: Arlo White chatted to San Francisco 49ers legend Joe Montana earlier this week and he was a little surprised to hear he was a household name in the UK in the 1980s. The interview is going out now on 5 live sports extra and he talks enthusiastically about the prospect of the Niners playing the Broncos in London next October. Asked who will win the battle of the quarterbacks he says, "I'm pulling for Drew but I think Peyton's going to win".

2217: If you have been keeping an eye on the website this week you will have noticed video of the top 10 Super Bowl plays of all time (many have which have come since the BBC started covering the game on TV, you will note) and the top 10 individual Super Bowl performances , none of which I agree with. Even as a 12-year-old during Super Bowl XXII in 1987, I could see the size of the holes the Redskins line were making for Timmy Smith so to see him in there is just wrong.

That's just one man's opinion, though. Express yours by tweeting @martingough_bbc , use 606 or text us on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide). You can also join the 5 live Facebook group and get involved in the discussion on their wall. Not all contributions can be used, especially those in favour of Timmy Smith.

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From Craig in Dublin via text: "Really looking forward to this. College in the morning but I have to stay up to watch the greatest show on earth. Colts to win by 2 scores. "

2214: Matt Roberts has been in Miami for BBC TV all week. You can keep in touch with his movements on Twitter and make sure you watch his behind-the-scenes guide to the media circus that has been the last week.

2211: 5 live's guests have been giving their predictions. Neil Reynolds says the Colts will edge it; NFL UK website editor Henry Hodgson says Indianapolis will win a high-scoring game by 12 points; Carolina's British kicker Rhys Lloyd goes for the Saints, though. I'm going to jump in on the end here and - having predicted victory for the Vikings and Jets a fortnight ago - I'm going for the Saints to squeak it.

From Kopmatt09 on Twitter: "I so can't wait for kickoff! I'd be happy to see the Saints win, but I love Peyton Manning. Brilliant QB & will be MVP "

2207: Indianapolis are considered slight favourites as they return to Miami, where they beat Chicago three years ago to lift their first Super Bowl trophy. They're not the team they were then but they still have Peyton Manning, best quarterback of this generation, at the helm

In his blog this week , BBC analyst Neil Reynolds says the Colts need a big game from Manning if they are to triumph here. You're not kidding, Neil. Indy were the worst running team in the league this year, with an average of just 80.9 yards per game - positively anaemic.

Manning grew up in New Orleans, where his father Archie quarterbacked for 10 painful years at the helm of the side known as the Aints, watched by fans wearing paper bags over their heads. Archie says he's rooting for the Colts this evening and Peyton won't be looking to show any mercy either.

2203: New Orleans are bidding for their first NFL title in their 43-year history but, of course, all the talk has been about the team inspiring the city as it bids to recover from the devastation brought by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

If you haven't yet read Haydn Parry's feature or listened to the montage voiced by Arlo White , of the events surrounding Katrina, and the Saints' march to the Super Bowl, there is still plenty of time to do it before kick-off.

This is a team that has been awful for much of its existence. The Saints played their first season in 1967 but didn't record a winning season until 1987 and has never even appeared in the title game before.

Their 31-28 NFC Championship Game victory over Minnesota a fortnight ago was a wild one. As one radio commentator screamed: "Hell has frozen over, pigs have flown, the Saints are on their way to a Super Bowl!"

2159: Although the vagaries of American TV are sometimes difficult to decipher, we're expecting kick-off at around 2325 GMT - that's half-past six in Miami. Radio boys Arlo White et al are already under way on 5 live sports extra (which you can also listen to online in the UK). Jake Humphrey will welcome 49ers quarterback Alex Smith to the BBC TV studio at 2255 (and you can watch that online in the UK too).

2155: It comes but once a year, it's a happening to be missed on pain of death. Whole nations stop to observe the event. That's right, it's Mrs Gough's birthday.

But there's no time for that, it's Super Sunday folks! All you're going to hear about around here for the next six hours is perfect passes, bruising runs and bone-crunching tackles as the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts go head-to-head in Miami with the Vince Lombardi Trophy on the line.

Vince Lombardi was the no-nonsense coach who led Green Bay to five NFL titles in the 1960s. I bet he didn't get his name on a trophy by staying at home on Marie's birthday.

For the first time in 17 years, the two top seeds in the league based on regular-season record will meet in the Super Bowl, and there are great stories on both sides. It's the "Who Dats" versus the Hoosiers as New Orleans face Indianapolis.

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see also
'Katrina tragedy inspired Saints'
08 Feb 10 |  American Football
Super Bowl XLIV photos
08 Feb 10 |  American Football
Saints upset Colts in Super Bowl
08 Feb 10 |  American Football
Saints and Colts reach Super Bowl
25 Jan 10 |  American Football
Super Bowl semi-finals as they happened
24 Jan 10 |  American Football
NFL fixtures
05 Jan 08 |  American Football
NFL results
26 Oct 07 |  American Football
NFL standings
26 Oct 07 |  American Football
NFL in a nutshell
19 Oct 05 |  American Football
American football on the BBC
18 Jan 10 |  American Football

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