The recent images of Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees holding his blue-eyed baby boy on the trophy platform amidst the screaming fans, flickering cameras, and downpouring ticker tape, are a ray of sunshine for the American psyche. The barrage of heart-breaking, negative images in the media, from the devastation in Haiti, to the two ten-timing of Tiger and the awkward embroilment between Jay and Conan, was sinking deeply into our collective skin. So, regardless of whether not you are a fan of the good ‘ol sport of football, it is hard to not be moved by the success of the New Orleans Saints this past weekend at Super Bowl XLIV; a story of detemination, loyalty, and success despite all the odds.
In 2006, when Drew Brees, left the San Diego Chargers to go play for the New Orleans Saints, I was (and still am) a big fan of the strapping star quarterback. He showed heart and determination on the playing field, not to mention the fact that he’s pretty easy on the eyes (what is it with quarterbacks, are they required to be good looking?). At the time, though there were questions of his abilities as a leader and of whether or not he was going to recover from a shoulder injury he had sustained at the end of the previous season. But many of his fans, as well as the decision makers over in New Orleans, knew that there was something special about him.
Side note: A few weeks before he left San Diego for New Orleans, I saw Drew walking through the streets of La Jolla holding hands with his wife. I was impressed with how hot he is down to earth he seemed and how in love he seemed with his wife. I wanted to say something like, we’ll miss you or I’m a big fan, or something truly lame like that, and thank goodness I didn’t, but in my mind, it was a moment in time between Drew and me. One that he has no idea even happened, but it was very special, I assure you.
At the time when Brees moved to New Orleans in 2006, the city was still reeling from the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Katrina only a few months prior. Stepping into such an environment of hopelessness and desperation could not have been easy for him, or for the entire Saints team to rally back from. But they did. With heart, guts and determination.
Those qualities, heart, guts and determination, are the things that make a winning team; the things I wrote about a few weeks ago, after the Chargers lost to the Jets, the things that the Chargers have not shown in many, many years. Those qualities are like the intangible “It Factor” that many celebrities have, that sets them a part from the rest and usually lands them on the Oscar or Emmy stage.
In fact, the Super Bowl this year had all the makings of an Oscar-Winning movie; a hero (Payton Manning), an underdog (The entire Saints team), shocking twists (the on-side kick), cringe-causing blunders (the dropped pass by Garcon), and an inspiring rise-from-the-ashes, or in this case the mud, story of hope. This real-life movie landed Drew Brees a place in our record books, and gave birth to a new sense of hope for our people.
“Every situation is a platform for a miracle,” says Marianne Williamson. The New Orleans Saints proved that to America on Sunday, inspiring America to believe in miracles again.
Congratulations Drew, Coach Payton, Reggie Bush, and the rest of the Saints team for kicking some serious booty!
PS: Drew, please don’t pull a Tiger, that’s all I’m asking. I don’t think we could handle that.