Patrick Sean Payton is going to the Super Bowl. The New Orleans coach, a Chicago area native, is named after the Irish Catholic priest, Fr. Patrick Peyton, known as the famous "rosary priest."
Fr. Peyton, a Mayo native who died in 1992, would be pleased that a boy named after him ended up leading a team called the Saints to the Super Bowl.
Fr. Peyton was famous for his devotion to the Knock Shrine in County Mayo where Our Lady is said to have appeared to locals in 1879. Pope John Paul showed up there in 1979 to celebrate the miracle.
Now Sean Payton has pulled of another miracle, leading the hapless Saints who have been in the NFL since 1967 and never been to the Super Bowl. Not only that, they were the worst team in the league for many of those years.
Now comes the miracle worker called Peyton. Will he join other great Irish coaches, Bill Parcells (birth name Bill O'Shea) Tom Coughlin and Mike Shanahan to name a few who have lifted the Super Bowl trophy?