Saints say goodbye to sensation Drew Brees

Josephine Piper, Staff Writer

All NFL fanatics know who the accomplished Drew Brees is. The influential quarterback has made history by taking the Saints to their first ever Super Bowl, over a decade ago in 2010, and is now ready to retire from the beloved game. 

In the Super Bowl, Brees completed 32 passes (which tied Tom Brady’s Super Bowl record) for 288 yards and two touchdowns, and he was named the game’s Most Valuable Player. More impressively, he helped lead the Saints into a victory over the Indianapolis Colts, with an outstanding score of 31-17.

While he has been a catch since his first appearance with the Saints, Brees has played his last game. It is now his time to part ways with the Saints, but he has had a phenomenal and unforgettable career with the team. 

His football career was kick started in Austin, TX. He led his high school team to the state championship and won Offensive Player of the year in 1996. Shortly after high school, he played football at Purdue University; he was a starter for three years, and during that time he set Big Ten Conference records for passing yards and touchdowns. He was able to make his mark on Purdue’s Boilermakers by helping them star in their first Rose Bowl in 34 years. This year, he was also nominated for a Heisman Trophy-arguably the biggest college football award- and he ended in third place. 

In 2001, Drew Brees was drafted as the first pick of the second round to the Los Angeles Chargers. He played for the Chargers from 2001 up until 2005, where he then nearly signed with the Dolphins.

In the same year when he almost signed with the Dolphins, he injured his shoulder and leg. Most people thought he would never throw another football again, but they stood corrected. The following year, he signed on with the Saints as their new quarterback. Even with his injuries, he turned around the record of the New Orleans team. The year before he signed, their record was 3-13, and the first year with Brees, it was 10-6. 

Brees ended up breaking Johnny Unitas’ 47 TD pass record with a touchdown pass in 2013. Unitas had been the title holder since 1960, but if anyone could break his streak, it would be the one and only Drew Brees. Yet, the moment was bittersweet for some like Joe Unitas, son of Johnny Unitas. 

“My father always said that records were meant to be broken,” wrote Joe, in a letter to Brees earlier that month. Unitas was at the Superdome to witness his father’s record pass into the shadows.

A few years later in his 2016 season, Brees became the first player in NFL history with 100 games of 300+ passing yards. All his statistics and records are impeccable. It is no surprise that all Brees’ accomplishments have brought him great fame and support. Many devoted fans look up to him and find inspiration in him. 

Our school has a couple of devoted Saints fans, such as senior Hunter Giel. Giel has been a Saints fan ever since he could remember. Partly due to his mother’s home town being New Orleans, Giel described being a Saints fan as a “brith right.”

Giel plays Varsity Football at Central and can attest that the energy felt by the parents, friends, and family in the stands is contagious. However, the Super Dome brings a whole new feeling.

“ I have attended a Saints game before and the energy in the Super Dome is unlike any other place,” began Giel. “The fans in New Orleans love their saints and they’re known as some of the best fans in the NFL for a reason.”

Just how the Super Dome energy never fades, neither will the memories Giel has.

However, Brees’ career, which has spanned for 20 seasons, is now coming to an end. The star player announced his retirement in 2021 through a post on Instagram. Although many fans are let down by this news, they understand that Brees’ impact in the NFL can never be erased.

“We shared some amazing moments together, many of which are emblazoned in our hearts and minds and will forever be a part of us,” announced Brees. “I am only retiring from playing football, I am not retiring from New Orleans.”

This sentiment especially rings true for fans like Giel, who will never forget the memories Brees’ and the Saints have allowed him to share with his family.

“My favorite memory was watching the Saints win the super bowl back in 2010,” stated Giel. “My mom was crying and it was just a really great moment for the city just five years after hurricane Katrina. My favorite player is Drew Brees being that he is a symbol for the city and he really helped to jump start the city back after Katrina.”