The day that all New Orleans Saints fans have dreaded has finally arrived. Superstar quarterback Drew Brees announced his official retirement from the game of football after 20 seasons. Brees, who steps away from football as the NFL all-time leader in completions and passing yards, was a leader of the Saints football team and the city of New Orleans. Though Saints fans will definitely miss seeing Brees on the field, the beloved quarterback reminded everyone that he is “not retiring from New Orleans” (ABC News (go.com)).
A Review of Brees’ Hall of Fame Career
Brees can rest easy knowing that he will be a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee when he is eligible in five years. Brees was a second round pick of the San Diego Chargers in the 2001 NFL Draft after setting loads of Big Ten records and being named a Heisman Finalist in 1999 and 2000. Though small in stature at only 6 foot (most NFL QB’s are 6-3 or taller), the Purdue alum never let his size limit his on-field success.
Brees often struggled at times during his five year stint with the Chargers, but everything turned around in a hurry when he signed with the Saints in 2006. Three short years later Brees and head coach Sean Payton brought home a Super Bowl victory to the city of New Orleans. Not only did Brees capture the Super Bowl trophy and Super Bowl MVP Award in 2009, he also led the NFL in completion percentage, touchdowns, and quarterback rating.
Brees posted some phenomenal stats over his entire NFL career as his overall record was an impressive 172-114 (pro-football-reference.com). The 13-time Pro Bowler retires with 571 touchdown passes and over 80,000 yards passing. Though not known for his scrambling ability, Brees still rushed for 25 touchdowns during his career. A little known fun fact about Brees is that he wore number 9 to honor his favorite all-time baseball player, former Boston Red Sox all time great Ted Williams.
A Good Player AND a Good Person
In an era where lots of pro athletes are of the “me-first” selfish variety, Brees was and is a great role model to many people. Brees is best known for two things in New Orleans. Those two things are winning a Super Bowl title and helping the city through the awful devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Drew and Brittany Brees (his wife) started the Brees Dream Foundation in 2003 to help cancer patients. This foundation has donated several millions of dollars to worthy charitable causes.
After Hurricane Katrina hit, Brees’ foundation did lots of community service work such as helping rebuild schools, parks, and churches. Brees is a devout Christian and has always talked about the importance of putting his faith and family ahead of his football career. Brees has said in multiple interviews that he looks forward to spending more time with his wife and four children now that he has stepped away from football.