GEAUX SAINTS -- N'Awlins Makes the Super Bowl
Yeah, I'll be cheering for the quarterback from the NFC and the team from New Orleans.
The Saints (you know, the team that calls the Superdome home?) are going to the NFL's biggest party for the first time; they will play the Colts in Miami two weeks from today. Y'all know I'm a Cowboys fan; but there's more to the story -- we all remember what NOLa went through after Katrina. We all know what the Superdome looked like, and we all read and heard about what happened in and around that building, almost five years ago. Well, something way different's happening in and around that building tonight, and that's a good thing.
There's more to the story of Drew Brees, too.
And unlike many lifelong residents of New Orleans or other Saints who rarely actually visit any of the Rue de Whatevers and choose to stay in Mandeville or Metairie or Kenner, Brees gets New Orleans as if he was a native with a street named after him. He gets New Orleans like Archie Manning did 39 years ago when he moved into a home off St. Charles Avenue. He understands New Orleans, and he loves it. It's not for everyone, but those that get it love it.
Brees and his wife Brittany decided to restore a hundred-year-old home uptown amid the ruins of post Katrina. While rebuilding the ultimate fixer-upper franchise, Brees did the same at home and both tasks have had their difficulties. Yes, fans, Drew Brees had a blue roof, too.
The home didn't suffer any flood damage, but it definitely had hurricane damage," Brees said. "I mean we had to replace the entire roof."
Yeah, so did Superdome executive director Doug Thornton. Brees was rebuilding his home because he chose to, not because he had to, but he could still relate to his new New Orleans neighbors and gain an appreciation. Now, he works and lives in places with new roofs.
"There were a lot of homes in uptown six to eight blocks away that had suffered some serious flood damage," he said. "And people weren't back in their home for two years. But our home was like any in uptown New Orleans. It's over 100 years old, and it was constant maintenance — upkeep and restoration. But for me, I was proud to do that. I felt like I was doing my part to restore the neighborhood and make it better."
What you have to know about Drew Brees is that he's from Texas. Dallas, by birth, and Austin, home of The University of Texas, which is a perennial power in national collegiate football. (They can afford to be.) He won a state championship for his high school, Westlake. But ... none of the Texas schools offered him a scholarship, so he played college ball at ... Purdue. Purdue? Yeah. See, he's barely six feet tall (well, maybe with two pair of thick socks), but like I keep tellin' y'all, it ain't the size of the dog in the fight. It's the size of the fight in the dog. Drew Brees has something going for him -- and somebody pulling for him: former Dallas Cowboys Offensive Coordinator, now NOLa Saints head coach Sean Payton.
Payton didn't hide his feelings after the ball game either.
"It's a pretty special feeling," Payton said when addressing the media after lifting the George Halas Trophy over his head.
Payton, saying more than once that he was struggling with his emotions, said the game was "kind of a blur right now."