Every sports fan has a favorite player. If you’re from the Big Easy or follow the New Orleans Saints, it’s hard not to love Drew Brees. While the quarterback has never been the most physically gifted man on the football field, he’s an excellent player who has overcome doubters at every step of his career. But even the greatest players aren’t universally praised.
In fact, Brees was recently left off of one historic list. Let’s just say that New Orleans Saints fans weren’t too happy about seeing their quarterback being slighted.
Drew Brees’ epic NFL career
While the world of sports has plenty of dramatic moments, Drew Brees’ career sounds like something out of a movie. The veteran quarterback has had plenty of doubters, but he’s proved them all wrong.
Brees started his football career playing for Westlake High School in Texas. Despite an undefeated run to the state title, none of the Lone Star State’s major programs offered the young quarterback a scholarship. Brees headed to Purdue and exploded, throwing for 11,792 yards and 90 touchdowns over his four NCAA seasons.
When the NFL draft rolled around, Brees slipped into the second round. While the quarterback eventually assumed the starting job in San Diego, the Chargers weren’t convinced; in 2004, the landed Philip Rivers in a draft-day trade and tapped him as the franchise QB. Brees stayed under center, however, until a career-threatening injury knocked him out of action. When the Chargers offered him a heavily-incentivized contract, he started looking elsewhere. Brees, of course, signed with the Saints and has gone on to establish himself as one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks.
Falling short of the NFL 100 All-Time Team
The 2019-2020 campaign marks the 100th season of NFL action. In order to commemorate the occasion, the league assembled a panel to form an all-time team consisting of the greatest players at each position.
When it came time to announce the quarterbacks, Saints fans everywhere were in for a surprise. The final roster included Sammy Baugh, Tom Brady, John Elway, Brett Favre, Otto Graham, Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Roger Staubach, Johnny Unitas. There was apparently no room for Drew Brees and his 77,000 career passing yards and 547 touchdowns.
Unsurprisingly, Saints fans were furious. Whether internationally or not, the all-time team seemed to give deference to players from the early days of NFL history; while that’s a noble goal and those men deserve recognition, it’s naive to argue that someone who played when the forward pass was still considered innovative is an overall better quarterback than Brees.
Drew Brees can get the last laugh on the field
While Saints fans didn’t appreciate the NFL 100 All-Time snub, Drew Brees has bigger fish to fry. The quarterback’s chase for another Super Bowl ring starts on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. The Saints are heavy favorites on Wild Card Weekend; a win over Minnesota would put them on track for a visit to Green Bay in the divisional round.
While it won’t be easy for the Saints to lift another Lombardi Trophy, don’t put anything past Drew Brees. The quarterback has been proving doubters wrong for his entire career; a few more on the NFL 100 panel won’t even faze him.