The month of November began with the Feast of All Saints and it concludes appropriately with a feast day for the Most Valuable, Most Inspirational New Orleans Saint: Drew Brees. Today, the Saints Quarterback was named the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year.
In my world, sporting awards trump all the others. At Notre Dame, the distinction of class valedictorian was a distant second in importance to who was named Mr. or Ms. Bookstore. Today, like the rest of America, I smiled when I learned that Drew Brees won this coveted title. I was in no way surprised. In a small way, this simple recognition affirmed my belief that from time to time—the universe and humanity get it right.
I could write and read about Drew Brees for days (for example, a fun fact reveals that he played tennis in high school against Andy Roddick. I think Roddick won). He is without a doubt an interesting and compelling figure. I almost hate to go on record with this, for fear of what may be revealed in years to come—but I truly believe he is the real deal.
I think we all believe this. When the Saints won the 2010 Super Bowl, it was impossible not to recognize the significance of this title for both the team and the city of New Orleans. When he held his son Baylen and hugged his wife Brittany on the victory stand, his words that “faith, family and football are what matter most, and football is a distant third” weren’t so hard to believe.
And as he accepts Sports Illustrated's 57th Sportsman of the Year award “for not only leading the New Orleans Saints to the first Super Bowl title in the franchise's history, but also for helping lead the city of New Orleans' rebirth after the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina” they still aren’t. Faith, family and football. Thank you Drew Brees for truly defining the criteria of this prestigious award:
Sportsman? What exactly does that mean? “We can agree on some things. A sportsman is talented and driven. He is selfless in a way that makes his team better. But there is something more, something larger.”
And for what it’s worth, I think you should be included in People magazine’s 100 Most Beautiful People.
Photo Credits: Sportsman of the Year