Louisiana, the home of champions

Eli Manning, one of many sports stars to call Louisiana home, has worked with Katrina Krewe to clean up the streets of New Orleans. AP Photo/Cheryl Gerber

On this day in 1812, Louisiana became the 18th state. After acquiring the region from France in 1803 through the Louisiana Purchase, the territory became a state exactly nine years later. While Louisiana is known today for its Mardi Gras celebrations, jazz music and Cajun food and culture, it also has produced some of America's most notable athletes. The impressive list of native Louisianians includes two-time NBA MVP Karl Malone, two-time Naismith Trophy winner and WNBA Finals MVP Seimone Augustus (who is celebrating her 30th birthday today as her home state celebrates its 202nd), five-time NFL MVP and one-time Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning, two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning, three time NCAA basketball champion Kim Mulkey (twice as a coach and once as a player), and four-time Super Bowl champion Terry Bradshaw.