After 20-years of playing in the NFL, former quarterback Drew Brees will be transitioning from playing on the field, to the sports media profession in the booth. On Monday, March 15, 2021, Brees announced that he will leave football behind. At least for his playing career.
The 42-year-old quarterback announced he will be joining NBC Sports as a football analyst. He will also be a studio analyst for, “Football Night in America” and a game analyst for NBC Sports coverage of Notre Dame Football. He’ll also will be part of NBC’s Super Bowl LVI team in 2022, and he’ll work other prominent non-football events like the upcoming Olympics.
NBC Sports Group chairman Pete Bevacqua, said they’re excited to welcome Brees and famous positivity to their crew. “We’re excited to have Drew join our team. We know that Drew will apply the same work ethic and continuously positive attitude to everything he touches at NBC Sports and we know, as his new teammates, he’ll make us better.”
It was totally expected that Brees would announce one day and become a broadcaster for a National TV powerhouse like NBC. Brees is very familiar with the company as he spent all of his career playing on Sunday Night Football on NBC. Even as a broadcaster, he’ll still be thinking, “I’ve been waiting all day for Sunday Night.”
What Drew’s Kids had to Say
Even Brees’ kids weighed in on his retirement: Baylen (12), Bowen (10), Callen (8), and Rylen (6); They were all cozy sitting on the couch wearing their dad’s #9 Saints jerseys and were quoted as saying “After 15 years on the Saints and 20 years in the NFL…, Our Dad is finally going to retire!” They then threw their little hands up in the air and shouted, “So he can spend more time with us!” Then they all cheered “YAY!” Brees shows what kind and good kids he’s raised and now they will get to see their father provide for them, but in a different position.
Reactions from around the NFL
During his playing career, Brees made a lot of friends around the league. He was very personable and could talk to anyone. Here are what some of Drew’s friends had to say about his retirement:
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) March 14, 2021
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) March 14, 2021
— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) March 14, 2021
Brees was born on Jan. 15, 1979 in Dallas, Texas to parents Eugene Wilson “Chip” Brees II, a prominent trial lawyer, and Mina Ruth (nee Akins; died 2009), an attorney. He has a younger brother, Reid (born 1981). When Brees was seven, his parents divorced and shared custody of the boys, who split their time between both parent’s homes. Today, he admits that it was a very rough and complicated life after the divorce, but Brees and his younger brother Reid, supported each other and become very close. They have a younger half-sister Audrey from their father’s remarriage to Amy Hightower, daughter of the late U.S. Representative (D-TX) Jack English Hightower.
After moving to the Austin area, Brees did not play tackle football until high school and was on the flag football team at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, where his teammate included actor Ben McKenzie. In high school, he was a varsity letterman in baseball, basketball, and football, and was considering playing college basketball instead of football.
In 1996, he was selected as Texas High School 5A Most Valuable Offensive Player and led the Austin Westlake High School football team to a 16-0 record and a state championship. As a high school football player, Brees completed 314 of 490 passes (64.1 percent) for 5,461 yards with 50 touchdowns, including in his senior seasons, 211 of 333 passes (63.4 percent) for 3,528 yards with 31 touchdowns. When Brees started for two-seasons, Westlake went 28-0-1 and beat a Dominic Rhodes-led Abilene Cooper 55-15 in the 1996 title game. He was named honorable mention in the state high school all-star football team and the USA Today ALL-USA high school football team alongside former San Diego Chargers teammate and long-time friend LaDainian Tomlinson.
Brees received offers from only two colleges, Purdue and Kentucky. He choose Purdue for its highly rated academics. He graduated in 2001 with a degree in industrial management.
After an uneventful freshman season, Brees was offered his first start during his sophomore year by his head coach. He was named the offensive captain during his junior and senior year. He had the option to make himself available for the 2000 NFL draft, but chose to return for his senior year to finish his studies.
In 2000, he led the Boilermakers to heart stopping last-minute upsets, and to face their first Big Ten championship. The Ohio State game was played on ESPN Classic and is highly remembered for Brees’ four-interceptions and 64-yard touchdown pass to Seth Morales with 1:55 remaining to capture the victory 31-27 with a post-game field rush! And of course we can’t forget our favorite commentator yelling, “Holy Toledo!”. Yes, of course I am referring to, Brent Musburger. Due to head-to-head wins over Michigan and Northwestern, Purdue was headed to the 2001 Rose Bowl, their 1st since 1967, where they lost to the Washington Huskies by ten-points.
Brees was a finalist for the ‘Davey O’Brien Award’ as the nation’s best quarterback in 1999. He won the ‘Maxwell Award’ as the nation’s outstanding player of 2000, and the ‘NCAA’S Today’s Top VIII Award’ as a member of the Class of 2001. Brees was also fourth in Heisman Trophy voting in 1999 and third in 2000.
In the 2001 NFL Draft, Brees was the second-quarterback taken by the San Diego Chargers (32) second behind Michael Vick (1). San Diego pulled off a blockbuster trade by dealing its #1 pick to the Atlanta Falcons for the #5 selection to draft current Hall-Of-Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson.
In his rookie season, Brees was the backup quarterback to Doug Flutie, who started all 16-games that season. Brees played in his first professional game on November 4, 2001 against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week-8. He finished with 221 passing yards and his first career passing touchdown was a 20 yd-pass to Freddie Jones.
Brees was the starter in 2004 and led the Chargers to a 12-4 record. They earned a berth in the wildcard playoff game. But, sadly, San Diego lost to the New York Jets 20-17. The Chargers were building toward their main goal, but the future of Brees was in danger, due to rookie-quarterback Phillip Rivers.
New Orleans Saints
After the 2005 NFL Season was over, the Chargers headed into the offseason wondering if Brees would still be the guy at quarterback to bring them to the Super Bowl. Brees was offered a 5-year contract extension by the Chargers worth $50 million. Brees decided not to take their offer and to test the free-agent waters. After choosing not to play for the Miami Dolphins, Brees decided to join the New Orleans Saints who had just hired Sean Payton as their new head coach.
Brees had a great first-year with the New Orleans Saints in 2006. He helped the team rebound from a 3-13 season in 2005 to 13-3 in 2006. On Jan. 28. 2007, the Saints lost in the NFC Championship game to the Chicago Bears or as the Chicago residents say, “Da Bears”.
Super Bowl 44
Brees won his first Super Bowl defeating Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts by a score of 31-17 in Miami, Florida. Brees was named the ‘MVP’ of the game and was seen holding his kids up in the air. These are the same kids that have grown up watching their daddy make them proud.
Now that Brees is retired, Saint fans will always remember Brees’ Super Bowl win that made him a long-stay with the New Orleans Saints. His last season did not result in a Super Bowl, but he has won a fanbase over in New Orleans. Now the fans are excited with a new quarterback taking the reins in Jameis Winston.
The leader might be gone, but let me ask you something: “Who dat, dat, Who dat say they gonna beat dem Saints? We are sure gonna miss hearing Drew and the team yelling that out every Sunday!
But seriously, I do want to wish Drew good luck in his Broadcasting career and anything else that he chooses to do in the future!