Brees Creates a Storm

Article by Corrine Barraclough

His career was one of the most prolific in NFL history. And so, even after much bubbling speculation that he was about to call time, Drew Brees’ official retirement announcement was greeted with immense sadness by fans.

Drew Brees

The 42-year-old New Orleans Saints quarterback, who started his career with the San Diego Chargers, announced on Instagram that he would retire after an epic 20 seasons.

Brees posted, “After 20 years as a player in the NFL and 15 years as a Saint, it is time I retire from the game of football. Each day, I poured my heart and soul into being your quarterback. ‘Til the very end, I exhausted myself to give everything I had to the Saints organization, my team and the great city of New Orleans. We shared some amazing moments together, many of which are emblazoned in our hearts and minds and will forever be a part of us.

“You have molded me, strengthened me, inspired me and given me a lifetime of memories. My goal for the last 15 years was striving to give to you everything you had given to me and more. I am only retiring from playing football; I am not retiring from New Orleans. This is not goodbye, rather a new beginning. Now my real life’s work begins!”

Fellow NFL quarterback Tom Brady said, “Congrats, my friend, on an incredible career. Thank you for the inspiration and dedication on and off the field! Look forward to seeing what’s next.”

What’s next for Brees, to start, will be a broadcasting job with NBC Sunday Night Football. Though he’s leaving the field, Brees also leaves behind plenty of career accomplishments worth cheering about.

We could start by praising him for being the NFL’s all-time leader in career passing yards at 80,358.

We could then congratulate him on ranking second all-time in touchdown passes at 571, with a completion percentage of 67.7 percent. It’s worth noting when it comes to that stat, he’s second only to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Brady.

Bear in mind, his is also a story of triumph. Brees had a successful football career at Purdue University, but he wasn’t widely recruited by NFL teams because he wasn’t considered tall enough by typical quarterback standards — even though he stands at six feet.

At one point, he was off the field with a shoulder injury that was so bad his entire NFL future was in doubt. But, like all of the most inspirational winners, he refused to give up. He persisted, trained hard and never lost his focus, going on to completely rewrite the NFL record books.

He leaves the game having successfully become one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.

And, most of all, he won hearts after his 2006 arrival in the Big Easy when he helped revive the Saints franchise — and the city of New Orleans — in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. [While this article came via our wonderful friends at Australian Penthouse, we really do need to step in here and point out that in all their faithful research, they sorta forgot to mention that Mr. Brees also won a SUPER BOWL for the city (XLIV) — once taunted as “The Aints” around the NFL. Yeah, we know: details, details… -Ed.]

Brees’ name is now synonymous with establishing a winning culture — and he’ll forever be remembered for all he’s done for his team and his community. [Stepping in again. Sorry. Australia is a long way away from New Orleans, so we understand how they might be unaware, but a big part of what Drew Brees has done for the community was the formation of The Brees Dream Foundation using his own name as the URL. Heck, that might be even more important than 80,358 passing yards. Who can say? We did feel it significant to mention, however. -Ed.]

On a more pure sports note, and at the risk of subjecting you to the overwhelming advertisement, popup, visually-assualting hell that is the modern “major company” website, CBS Sports did in fact run an excellent article on some of the most extraordinary sports aspects of the career of this once cast off hero. Just try to focus on the words; that would be our advice.

As a post-footnote thought, however, we do have one final reflection. Don’t you wonder if when Brees walked into the Saints building for the last time to announce his retirement he said, “Well now, just call me the breeze; I keep blowing down the road?” … For the record, a slight possiblity exists that we wonder different things than most people around here.