Drew Brees has been getting a lot of shit lately.
Whether it's the attention-grabbing demand from former NFL player-turned-sweat-vampire Kyle Turley that Brees cop to "what he knew" or the recent categorization by his own GM that he's a "very good" rather than "great" quarterback, Brees' name seems to be on people's mouths.
Not a great quarterback? Didn't he just break the single season passing record?
"Oh well, three guys did it! It ain't a big deal no more!"
Hey, fuck you buddy. That's what I say to you.
Because yes, this is more of a passing league and yes, Brees had company near the top, but HE'S THE ONE THAT DID IT.
Not Tom Brady.
He's a GREAT quarterback.
In fact, there's a fairly simple argument to be made that he's operating at a considerable disadvantage. Peyton is 6' 5". Brady is 6' 4". Aaron Rodgers is the prototypical 6'2". In fact, many of the greats have been 6' 2", like Kurt Warner and Joe Montana and Steve Young and Brett Favre.
Brees? Like 5' 11 3/4".
Call it 6'.
And that matters.
But Brees consistently delivers, both on and off the field. He works tirelessly with the NFLPA on their executive board, has changed the lives of thousands of people in New Orleans, adores his family the way a father should and is never, ever sick at sea.
So when others go painting everyone on the saints with a broad brush, make sure you remember that Drew Brees is a great guy, both on and off the field.
We've been throwing the term "class act" around a lot lately, but that's only because we're in a sort of golden age of NFL Spokesmen.
Peyton Manning. Drew Brees. Aaron Rodgers. Tom Brady. Eli Manning.
Even if you don't like these guys, they've formed an "old guard" of behavior and decorum and responsibility. They know how to joke around, and they know how to take their lumps with dignity.
Who knows where the next era of young upstarts will take us? For now, we can appreciate having a solid run of dignified ambassadors to spread the NFL ethos the right way.
And Drew Brees is marching at the front of the pack.
Don't forget that when the hatchet falls on the Saints.