My brother Les and I were on text exchange discussing the state of sports. My brothers and sister are among the most passionate sports fans I know. I cannot think of the Denver Broncos without thinking of Les. I cannot think of the New York football Giants without thinking of George. And I cannot think of the St. Louis baseball Cardinals without thinking of my sister Bess. I love how they love, even if Les & George can be downright scary. I know a lot of passionate fans; and I know scary. Trust me when I say there is no one scarier than both my brothers. It’s kind of sweet in a way. They love sports – and especially their teams – the way people loved them when they were kids.
I’ve got my teams, and often get derided for some of it, in good fun I like to think. I’ve been a lifelong San Francisco 49ers NFL fan, a Notre Dame Fighting Irish college foot ball fan, both a Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox baseball fan, and in my childhood a Los Angeles Lakers NBA fan. In baseball though, I admittedly will root for the Chicago Cubs over my two favourite teams (thought over ten years ago, I would have had a hard time choosing between the Red Sox and Cubs).
We still love our teams, but for me, it’s more about the game itself.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve moved away from my maniacal allegiance to my teams. Gone are the days of 1991 when the Cowboys beat the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game in San Francisco when Alvin Harper caught a 70 yard slant pattern from Troy Aikman, that crushed us, as a result I started throwing furniture around, went to the bathroom and started hyperventilating I was so upset – that’s how the 90’s started for me. Even when the NINERS lost to the Ravens in the Super Bowl, I was upset, but I wasn’t crazy. Full disclosure, I was despondent when the NINERS lost to the Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game a year later.
I’ve come to admire certain players in certain sports. These days, I’m looking for the role models. I’m looking for the good guy and the good girl. While I don’t have any kids, I have many kids in my life, and I adore all of them. And I think to myself, which of these athletes serve themselves up as a role model? Who can kids look up to?
One such athlete that always comes to mind is New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Having gone to my alma mater Purdue University a few years after I graduated, I’ve always been a fan for the fact he brought Purdue football back, and started a mini-quarterback factory that was in line with the rich history of quarterbacks having gone to Purdue that played in the NFL, some having hall of fame careers (think Len Dawson, Bob Greise, etc.).
He’s not only a good quarterback – he’s a great quarterback, having overcome a series of odds against him to win the starting job at San Diego in 2001, keeping it in 2004, his injuries and subsequent departure to New Orleans in 2006 where he led the Saints to the Super Bowl title in 2009. Along the way, he was integral to bringing hope to the city of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, not only contributing to charitable organizations but actually devoting his time.
In my opinion, he’s not only a hall of fame quarterback, but he’s a hall of fame person.
In the article below, Brees talks about why he never removed the large birthmark on his face.
The dude rocks and is an inspiration to all.
I may be a lifelong San Francisco 49ers fan, but I am also a lifelong Drew Brees fan.