I mentioned a few days ago about my loss of love for the sports world I had once been so attached too. And, as I said, slowly but surely I realized I was missing journalism more and more.
But the other night, while watching the New Orleans Saints play the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football it really hit me.
Overall it was a really great game – unless you were a fan of the Falcons. Besides the whomping of Atlanta, the hit of the night was Drew Brees breaking Dan Marino’s record for most passing yards in a single season.
Dan Marino set the record of 5,084 yard in 1984.
But what got to me was the unity of the team. Drew Brees was a class act and kept his composure and focus.
His team supported him and wanted to help him get there. They knew the moment he hit that bench mark, and the celebration was beautiful. His teammates were so excited for him. Their reaction brought a huge smile to my face.
“It was crazy. I ran to Drew like he scored,” left guard Carl Nicks said. “The Super Bowl was the best, but this and the NFC championship game are up there. It was like a movie. It was like a movie ending. It’s beautiful.”
What really got to me was watching him talk to his team and staff in the locker in some post game footage. It literally brought tears to my eyes. It reminded me of some of the more wonderful things in life that sports bring out. Bonds between one another. Unity. Pride in your city and community. Passion.
The entire time, Brees stayed classy. He kept saying how “we” got the record. He never said it was his record. It belonged to the Saints organization. It belonged to the fans – he came last.
“The next thing I remember was I’m just getting bum rushed by all the big fellas,” Breessaid. “My linemen’s facemasks were literally this far from my face. I couldn’t hug them enough. This was a family record. It was just an amazing moment.”
It was a truly beautiful moment.
It reminded me of the things that I had been missing. Brees’ humility and humblism is not something you can fact. His pride, his emotion and that of his team was incredible to watch.
“I told Drew, whenever he decides to retire, I will retire,” said second-year tight end Jimmy Graham.
“I will never play with another quarterback as long as I am in the NFL,” Graham said. “He has really made me a man. I look up to him like an older brother. It was a special moment. It was incredible to be a part of something so special. I will never forget it.”
Besides the fact that in this instance I am biased because I’m a huge Saints fan, if I were a non-fan, an outsider to the Who Dat Nation – I still think I would have been impressed by this. Their brotherhood is what helped me fall for the team years ago.
Brees finished the season with 5,476 yards. He also helped his team break the record for most yards in a season that the St. Louis Rams in 2000 of 7,075 yards.
The Saints broke that record against the Carolina Panthers in the final game of the season 7,474.
Photo credit to (AP Photo/Bill Haber)