The celebrations have begun in New Orleans, as the city's National Football League team - the Saints - have won their first Super Bowl championship title, bringing joy to a city still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The Saints surprised the favored Indianapolis Colts 31 to 17 Sunday evening before a packed stadium in Miami, Florida - and an expected 100 million television viewers in the United States and millions more around the world.

Early in the game, the Saints trailed 10 to nothing, but battled back for the victory, tying the mark for the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.  

Saints quarterback Drew Brees out-dueled Colts star Peyton Manning and was named the game's Most Valuable Player.  Brees completed 32 of 39 passes for 288 yards.  In a dramatic finish, Manning drove the Colts toward a tying touchdown, but threw an interception returned for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

The Saints are now the heroes of New Orleans after being an NFL embarrassment through much of their 43-year history.

The flashy halftime Super Bowl show this year featured veteran rock group The Who.

President Barack Obama, a keen sports fan, hosted a Super Bowl-watching party at the White House.  Asked for his analysis before play began, he said the Colts are the stronger team but that he was partial to the underdog Saints.