“Drew Brees-The Best”
The right guy, the right place, the right time and the right reason.
Drew Brees now owns the NFL record for passing yardage, blowing by Peyton Manning’s career record of 71,940-yards, just like his receiver blew by the cornerback enroute to the 62-yard TV catch against the Redskins, that broke the record.
Brees, the ex-Charger, the undersized quarterback out of Purdue, the injured signal caller hardly anyone wanted, is headed to the Pro FootballHall of Fame for all types of reasons.
We all know the story from the San Diego perspective. Drafted as a stop gap measure during the really bad years in the post Ryan Leaf seasons.
Replacing the journeyman Doug Flutie, learning on the job under the early Marty Schottenheimer years
Then the decision to draft Philip Rivers, and the never ending question as to what the Chargers should do.
Trade him at midseason of his free agent year, or let him play it out. Get something at midseason, or let him go and get nothing.
Then the last game of a lost season, a bad snap in the end zone, a sack, and he, competing as he always did, diving with one arm trying to prevent a TD. He suffers a severe should injury, dislocation, labrum, rotator cuff.
All this as he is about to become a free agent.
The Chargers let him walk, only Miami and New Orleans showed interest. The Dolphins backed out, the Saints gave him a 1-year make good deal.
And we know the rest of the history. Linked with a mad scientist as his new head coach, Sean Payton, here came the success.
4,000-yard seasons, playoff berths, 5,000-yard seasons, passing records, and a Super Bowl.
But the Drew Brees storyline is not just about what happens on the field, but what happened in the community.
New Orleans, ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, needed a heart and a soul. It needed a face, a leader, it needed identity.
Our memory will never let us forget the sights. Bodies floating in the water. Stranded people on top of house roofs, pleading for help. The Kingdome becoming a safe haven, over-run by the homeless and flood victims.
Death, destruction, devastation, it had nothing. And then we found the Mayor was indicted for corrupt actions as the city was trying get up off its feet.
Enter the quarterback, to lead his adopted hometown, just like he would lead his new NFL team.
Drew Brees stepped up to become all that was needed, heart-soul-face and smile.. He started 3-foundations in that city, months after the water receded. He was everywhere, doing everything from a charity perspective.
The city was reborn, as was the franchise. From the dark days of the Archie Manning era, Brees became the beacon of greatness.
Our lasting memory of the Saints turnaround, Brees holding his young child, on the podium during the Super Bowl trophy presentation, trophy in one hand, the kid in the other, being buried by gold and black confetti.
Last night as they celebrated with him, he ran to the sidelines, to embrace his kids and wife, and was heard shouting ‘I love you guys’. He ran to Payton, hugging him, with the same message, ‘I love you coach’.
And the NFL should express the same sentiment this day towards the Saints quarterback.
Drew Brees, the right guy, the right time, the right place, not just for the Saints, but for the city of New Orleans too.
Great player, greater person.