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  • Paul Jankowski

NFL's Drew Brees Gives The Country A Much Needed Dose Of Positivity

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) hugs his family after breaking the NFL all-time passing record, Monday, Oct. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

As our country rides a seemingly unending wave of discord and negativity, I was moved by Drew Brees’ record-breaking performance during Monday Night Football this week. Not so much by his breaking the record, but how he handled it.

The New Orleans Saints’ quarterback became the NFL’s all-time leading passer Monday night, surpassing Peyton Manning to claim the #1 spot in the NFL’s 99-year history.

Brees broke the record with a 62-yard touchdown pass to Tre'Quan Smith in the second quarter. “When something like this happens, there are so many people who are responsible for that, that are a part of that, and that makes me happy. It makes me proud and it makes me extremely grateful — extremely grateful for the opportunity to play this game, to play it as long as I’ve played it, to have wound up here in New Orleans,” Brees told USA Today.

That’s just part of the story. The way Brees represents professional athletes as a whole is a perfect example of a high profile guy using his influence for good. After he completed the record-breaking pass, he celebrated briefly with his Offense on the field, then bee-lined to the sidelines to see his family. In this touching moment, he embraced his wife and four young children. He knelt down in front of his three boys (his daughter was being held by his wife) and said, “I love you guys so much. You can accomplish anything in life if you’re willing to work for it.” What a powerful message to deliver during such a euphoric time in his professional career. A message like that is so needed now as there seems to be such an entitlement mentality (perpetuated through much of social media) that the core value of hard work has been diluted.

At six feet tall, he’s not the prototypical QB. Not even close. He’s known for his ‘annoying optimism’ and ability to overcome many obstacles like a shoulder injury that should have ended his career before it really got going. Through the many obstacles he has faced, Brees has always found a way to push through the personal adversity while inspiring others.

Brees was born in Austin, TX, had a very successful playing career at Purdue, and is a legend in New Orleans. He and his family exude New Heartland values; his commitment to faith, community and family are evident in all facets of his life.

“He’s a great player, but he has done it the way it’s supposed to be done the entire time he’s been in the NFL. I know I speak on behalf of all the kids watching, including my four kids, thank you for the role model you are,” Dallas Cowboys’ legend and new Monday Night Football announcer, Jason Witten, said of Brees following the record-breaking moment.

Continuing praise from his peers, Peyton Manning sent this hilarious congratulations video.

I echo Witten’s comments and Manning’s congratulations. Thank you for using your stage to bring humility, grit, hope and positivity to society/media/influencers that so often wants to focus on the negative stuff. We need more leaders like you.

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