I don't normally post so close to my last one. When you have as little material as I do, it pays to stretch it out a bit. Keeps all 8 of you faithful readers coming back. But something happened yesterday. A book was released. "Big deal!" you say? Well, this was a book by a fella I think pretty highly of.
Brees gave an interview about the book to Peter King of Sports Illustrated. An excerpt of that interview is found below. It's message is clear: never underestimate the power you have to change someone's life by believing in them.
The most enlightening thing about the Brees book, I thought, was the one final conversation he had with Nick Saban before he decided to pick the Saints over Saban's Dolphins in the spring of 2006. We've all heard that the Saints believed unconditionally in Brees' ability to come back from his shoulder surgery, while the Dolphins were skeptical about it. But we hadn't heard about Brees commandeering the situation from his agent, Tom Condon, which, at the end of the negotiations, apparently Brees did.
Brees had significant interest on the table from the Saints. But he wanted to find out if Saban had the same faith in him that Payton and Mickey Loomis had in New Orleans. So Brees picked up the phone and called Saban, who told him the Miami team doctors believed Brees had a 25 percent chance to come back and be the same quarterback, or better, that he'd been before the shoulder surgery.
According to the book, Brees said to Saban: "Coach, I know what your doctors believe about me. My question is, what do you believe?''
Wrote Brees: "Nick Saban paused. That was really all I needed to hear. His pause told me everything. 'Well, Drew,' he said, 'I would still love to have you, but I have to trust what our medical people are saying ...' He went on from there, like he was reading from a script. But I was starting to tune out. By then I had all the information I needed. I had made my decision.''
Brees told Saban thanks, and he'd be going to New Orleans, even though telling Saban that might kill his negotiating position with the Saints.
As Brees told me, "The impression I get from the Dolphins was I should feel lucky they were even looking at me. It just wasn't a welcoming feeling.''
And the rest, as they say, is history. Super Bowl History. I haven't read Brees' book yet, but I will. And I recommend that you do, too. In it, you'll get a glimpse into the character of a young man who believed in himself, found an organization that did, too, and poured his heart into a city that would now, in all likelihood, elect him Pope if he wanted it! Brees is the Anti-JaMarcus, who ironically was also in the news today, for a very different reason. Brees is a future Hall-of-Famer who works as hard as any practice-squad hopeful to be the best quarterback on the field. And right now, he deserves to be in any conversation about the league's best; right alongside Brady, Manning, Favre, and anyone else you care to promote.