The NFL season is done and teams are locked in for the postseason. The one enigma of the league (besides the Bengals) will once again show their mettle against the Eagles.
Every season, the New Orleans Saints has been the enigma, in more ways than one. One year, they will look Super Bowl bound; another year, they’ll look like a very bad shell of themselves. They will start the season off like a rocket and blast through teams, then by mid season or very late in the season, that rocket called the Saints becomes a serious dud.
But no matter how this team performs, the one constant stalwart for this franchise has been their QB, the fountain of youth recipient, Drew Brees. The soon to be 40 year old is supposed to have a drop off at this point in his career, but he hasn’t. Brees has remained consistent. Once looked at as a forgotten piece in his days with San Diego, because, well, he played with the Chargers. Brees resurrected and redeemed himself in New Orleans, and he did it in a huge way.
Brees’ leadership has been highlighted throughout his career, but it came into full fruition as a member with the Saints. While the team was desolate during the after-effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Brees, on his own dime, flew out members of the team to practice and train. Brees’ leadership came to the forefront again after the ‘bounty-gate’ scandal. While the NFL came down on the Saints with the hammer of discipline, Brees once again rallied the troops to give keep working and play together. Despite that many of their games meant nothing, the team rallied around Brees as flies to light; Brees was their light. He was the one positive force as the media and NFL crucified coach, Sean Peyton, and members of his coaching staff. Brees constantly made it known that it didn’t matter what was happening on the outside, he only cared about his guys, that’s leadership.
Brees is a consistent figure in the N.O. community. Whether coaching his kids' flag football team, visiting a youth center, speaking to students, or simply being part of a community food drive. Brees’ face and name dons numerous billboards around the city, and the city always shows him love in return.
When the Saints finally took the field at the renovated Mercedes Benz Super dome post Hurricane Katrina, I remembered it being an emotional moment for the city, but the city erupted even more once Brees took the field. Five years later, Brees and the Saints brought The Big Easy its first Super Bowl trophy in 2010.
Of course, many can make the argument that Brees looks like that he will be able to play well into his mid 40’s. Yes, Tom Brady says that he believes that he’ll be able to do that himself, but one has to also make the case for Brees. The Saints O-Line mimics the Secret Service when No. 9 is in the pocket, if the organization keeps this up, Brees can play into his late 40’s if he wants. With weapons such as Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram Jr., life in the Big Easy, becomes easy. Oh, and let’s not forget Brees’ new go-and-get-it man, Michael Thomas. They make Gronk and Brady look like players from Tecmo Super bowl. Thomas has been Brees’ highest target since Jimmy Graham. The Brees-Thomas train has picked up more steam at the right time, the playoffs.
Now we must wait and see if the second longest coach-QB pair, behind Brady and Belichick, will no longer be an enigma, and become a puzzle solved by bringing another trophy to the N-O in 9 years.
Ladies and Gentlemen, my 2017-18 NFL MVP; Mr. Fountain of Youth, Drew Brees.
Check out the love he received when he made history this season: