New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees go from playing flag football to winning a Super Bowl MVP, and he clearly thinks that experience can resonate with both American youth and parents who might be wary about signing up their kid for a sport that’s increasingly being linked to neurodegenerative brain diseases. Bleacher Report recently named Saints quarterback Drew Brees one of the top ten franchise cornerstones in the NFL.
Bleacher Report recently ran a piece titled Ranking the NFL’s True Franchise Cornerstones. In it they rank Drew Brees an almost accurate number three on the list. One spot too low but still respectable when the Saints in general are typically overlooked.
The fact is that Drew Brees is more than a cornerstone in the way the other players on the list are. He came to New Orleans when the city had been knocked to its knees by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He was a cast off and many in New Orleans were feeling like castoffs at the same time.
What he did to bring the morale of the city back can’t be quantified. The Superdome has been the symbol of the city of New Orleans for over 40 years. When Brees first arrived in the city, that grand structure was in tatters. He christened its reopening with a thunderous victory over the arch-enemy Atlanta Falcons and the rest was history. All the way up to the Saints doing the improbably and winning a Super Bowl.
The most accurate passer in the history of the Football will become the league’s all-time passing yards leader in a few short months. In the grand scheme of things, the Saints have had a few minor Football stars. Drew Brees has eclipsed them all. On the field and off. Model citizen, team leader and superstar.
Late last year, Mr. Brees — who played flag football exclusively until he was a freshman in high school — launched a new co-ed flag football league called Football ‘N’ America. The organization has now as now grown to include 11 cities, including a league in Toledo that will play its first games this fall.
The term franchise cornerstone doesn’t seem to be strong enough to define what Drew Brees has meant to the Saints and the city of New Orleans. As he nears the end of his career, the Saints will be faced with a monumental task in replacing him.