But even the school that saw Peyton Manning grow from a little kid to a top SEC recruit can't help but get caught up rooting for the Saints in Sunday's Super Bowl.
"We're very proud of the Mannings, they're a wonderful family. And any other game we always want to see Peyton win. But we're pulling for the Saints. It would mean so much to the city," said Genie McCloskey, archivist for the school.
As the person in charge of keeping the history of the school preserved, McCloskey's job involves the Mannings heavily. Besides Peyton, brothers Eli and Cooper also attended.
And there's proof of her words that, indeed, the school is heavily in the Manning corner. There's a Manning Wall of Fame and collages, banners and other celebratory tokens that mark the brothers' successes in college and the pros. They even threw pep rallies for the Colts and Giants when they previously played in the Super Bowl. If you're looking to build a shrine to the Manning family, Isidore Newman School is your Home Depot.
But you wouldn't have known it on Friday, when every kid in the school was wearing a Saints jersey or t-shirt and beads, some waving shiny black and gold pom poms, all celebrating the Saints in their own lively way. Faculty and administration mirrored the students. Friday afternoon everyone in the school -- which ranges from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade -- was gathering for a party featuring live music and a parade on the football field, with typical New Orleans flair: a jazz procession was scheduled to take place. Isidore Newman typically only brings all age groups together once a year, when they celebrate the school's founder. This year was an exception. "No learning is getting done today," Erin O'Brien, the school's director of communications, told me.
Doesn't anyone there want Peyton and the Colts to win another championship?
"I'm a conflicted soul," said Isidore Newman football coach Nelson Stewart. Stewart graduated from the school in 1995, a year after Peyton, a lineman on both sides of the ball. "I'm a Saints fan but I've always rooted for Peyton Manning."
Stewart, perhaps not coincidentally, was not wearing black and gold on this day. He chose a Manning Passing Academy shirt instead
The traits in Manning that have brought him to a second Super Bowl and perhaps the distinction of best quarterback of all-time were there from his school days.
"He was very focused, very mature. An unusually effective leader," Stewart said. "He approached the game intellectually and worked as hard as a lineman. We all looked up to him, but he was always on the same level as us. He never considered himself above anyone."
"The Manning family is the heartbeat of Isidore Newman," Stewart said. "And the Saints are the heartbeat of New Orleans. I'm truly divided. I absolutely love [Drew] Brees and the Saints, but Peyton Manning's given too much for me to bet against him."