Drew Brees Was Much More Likeable When He Just Played

Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Make no mistake, Drew Brees is an exceptional quarterback and football player who is certainly bound for the Hall of Fame when his playing days are over. He owns numerous NFL records and led what was once the NFL’s most hapless franchise to a Super Bowl victory.

Brees can also have a tendency to be a narcissistic, whiny pud when he wants to be. The shame of it is that he wasn’t always looked at in this way.

How could you not root for this guy? He started his career with the San Diego Chargers battling for a starting job with a quarterback even more diminutive than he is, one Doug Flutie. He suffered one of the most gruesome shoulder dislocations ever seen in his final game in San Diego and was passed over by team after team until the New Orleans Saints were finally willing to give him a shot.

When Brees first came to New Orleans following his exodus from sunny southern California and the Chargers, he was looked upon like an underdog. He was an undersized quarterback who had some pretty good skills, but also what was quite possibly a permanently bum throwing shoulder.

Dr. James Andrews, who performed the surgery on Brees’ shoulder, said “His recovery has been one of the most remarkable of any patient I’ve ever treated, and the biggest thing was Drew’s motivation and toughness.”

The city of New Orleans and the entire NFL community embraced Brees right from the start. He immediately did his part to become a part of the community as well as being a leader for the Saints. When the Saints eventually advanced to and won the first Super Bowl in the history of the franchise, Brees was deemed their savior.

Brees’ response during the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans only endeared him more to everyone who watched him. He showed genuine compassion for the people of New Orleans and worked tirelessly in rescue efforts and rebuilding projects to help bring the city back to life.

Brees had it all: skill, the heart of a lion, determination, toughness and the support of the entire NFL community.

Then there was Bountygate.

Ever since the allegations of a pay-for-play/bounty-driven system came against the Saints, Brees has been nearly intolerable. It’s one thing to have doubts as to the veracity of a case against your teammates. It’s a completely different animal to openly and vocally accuse the commissioner of the league (who is responsible for everything that you have) of conspiring, conniving and outright lying.

Brees seems unable to fathom that what was going on in New Orleans was not only against NFL rules, but also downright dangerous and unsportsmanlike. He seems to think that Roger Goodell has some sort of silent vendetta against the Saints and their head coach, Sean Payton. He continually spouts off on camera and to the media about the commissioner’s “abuse of power.”

Hey Drew, some questions for you. Weren’t you one of the players instrumental in fashioning the new CBA? Didn’t the NFLPA not even once contest the sections of the CBA that were related to the commissioner’s power to hand down discipline because they were so concerned about not giving up ground in the financial matters?

In short, Brees should sleep in the bed that he helped make. The NFLPA decided unanimously that if there were an issue that dealt with the commissioner’s powers, it would be best handled through the appeals process and the legal system, which is exactly what is happening in the case of the suspended players in the Saints bounty scandal. The rest of the world doesn’t need to hear Brees bellyaching about how he feels that Commissioner Goodell has wronged the Saints and how he feels there is no real evidence to back up Goodell’s case.

If what Brees says is true, then it will be handled with due diligence by the NFLPA lawyers and the legal system. Brees needs to expend less energy trying to publicly emasculate the NFL commissioner and more time being concerned with the 1-4 Saints and trying to right that ship.

Drew Brees is likeable – practically affable – when he’s just being a top quality quarterback and genuine friend of the community. Let’s hope that’s what he goes back to being very soon. I can’t take much more of Brees the flag-waver.

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Michael Collins is a Rant Sports NFL and MLB Network Manager, and Atlanta sports columnist. Follow him @GaSportsCraze on Twitter and here on Facebook


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