In my book Drew Brees is a true hero. Here we have someone who came back from adversity, someone who was written off because of a soldier injury and because he’s not as tall as most quarterbacks should be.
Saints coach Sean Peyton saw something in this guy, a spark, a dedication, something that he could work with. I’m sure he was impressed with his work ethic and also because he had been a champion. And not just a champion on the field but off the field as well.
He comes to New Orleans after Katrina and feels that this is something of destiny for him to be here. He’s welcomed into the community and gives right back by his unselfish devotion to his fans and starts the BreesDream Foundation to help the less fortunate among us. He buys a house in the uptown community not on some walled off street but right there in plain sight of his neighbors where anyone can drive by and see him in the front yard with his family. (His house is walking distance from my house.)
He leads the Saints through a winning season and then wins the Super Bowl. An inspiring season and an historic win is just the kind of shot in the arm that New Orleans needs. I have no interest in football until this season when I cheer the Saints on at every game I have a chance on watch on TV.
When he holds up the Lombardi trophy and shouts “This is for you, New Orleans!” very few of us watching don’t have a lump in our throats.
In the wake of the Tiger Woods scandal Brees is the true bright light in the celebrity world. Here is someone with values, the values of hard work, sacrifice, dedication, humility, team work and love for his family and the city that embraced him as he has embraced the city. He doesn’t feel entitled or that anyone owes him anything.
He seems to be someone who works hard, realizes how fortunate he is and is humble to his Maker and thankful for it. That to me is someone our young folk and the rest of us could emulate, someone who makes the world a better place. Someone who fits the description of a true hero, a hero in the most real and classic sense. We here in New Orleans consider ourselves fortunate to have someone of his caliber among us.
I hope that his new book Coming Back Stronger is a great success and changes the lives of many people. And now he has won four ESPY awards. No one deserves it more than him. For us in New Orleans he has changed our lives and has been an inspiration to all.
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