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After years of toiling in futility, the New Orleans Saints – a team born the year the Super Bowl started – finally won their first. Despite trailing 10-0 early in the game, Team Who Dat battled back and won professional football’s championship game in stunning fashion. With the Saints clinging to a 24-17 lead, Tracy Porter intercepted a Peyton Manning pass and ran it back 74 yards for a touchdown. To intercept Manning, arguably the NFL’s best quarterback, was one thing. To score at the same time provided the exclamation mark that proved the team from the Big Easy was not a joke nor was their victory a fluke.

QUESTIONS:

  1. Read the opening quote by Casey Stengel then discuss the outcome of the game by comparing the performances of regular season MVP Peyton Manning and Saints quarterback Drew Brees (a player many teams were not willing to consider when he was a free agent in 2006).
  2. What is a norm? Examine the article for normative statements. How did these influence Saints players’ mindsets both leading up to and during the game?
  3. What is the best way to make decisions in teams? Under what circumstances might other methods be effective? Discuss the two key decisions made by Saints Coach Sean Payton (i.e., the decision to “go for it” on 4th and goal on the 1-yard line, calling for an on-side kick to start the second half). What decision rule was used? What made these decisions effective?

SOURCE: J.Bell, “Saints Stump Colts 31-17 to Win Franchise’s First Super Bowl Title,” USA Today (Retrievable online at http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2010-02-07-super-bowl_N.htm?obref=obinsite)

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