I'm finishing up my work for the paper in the press box at the Superdome, and I'm afraid to outside.

Local TV is showing shots of Saints fans partying all over town. I don't expect this to be like Detroit or Chicago - I'm not expecting anyone to set fire to cars - but Saints fans have no experience dealing with this kind of success, so I don't know what to expect.

This was the best atmosphere for a game I've ever experienced. It wasn't just loud - it was loud and festive and people were enjoying themselves. Too often, for me, NFL fans look enraged. Considering the plight of this city and the history of this team, this was a joyful experience for the New Orleanians.

I generally dismiss all talk of sports curses, but this one made me wonder. For the Vikings to handle the crowd noise as well as they did all game, and then get penalized for too many men in the huddle when they were within range of a game-winning field goal...that's a bit bizarre.

Favre said it was a ``communication issue,'' and nobody I talked to was willing to call out the player who made the mistake.

My prediction for the game was 31-28, Vikings, with Favre driving the Vikings into position for a game-winning Ryan Longwell field goal. I almost nailed it.

After the game, Favre looked like he had been beaten with tire irons. He said he isn't ready to decide whether he'll return next year. My prediction: He'll take about a month, then announce he's coming back. I think he had a blast this year, and likes working with Brad Childress and Darrell Bevell, and feels like he might be able to win a championship next year.

I tend to agree. Maybe Favre will prove to be too old next year, but I thought he was too old going into this year, and he put together the best statistical season of his career.

I think the Vikings need to find a play-making safety or two, and need to cure Adrian Peterson's fumbling. Take care of those problems and get Favre to return, and I would make the Vikings the favorites to win next year's Super Bowl.

I'll be on with Reusse at 6:40 a.m. on am-1500, then on WJON at 7:14. I'll write a column wrapping up the Vikings' season for the Tuesday paper. I'm heading to Vancouver for the Olympics on Feb. 10.

You can follow me on Twitter at SouhanStrib.


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