Photo above courtesy of Sports Illustrated.
I have had but one man crush in my life. I am eternally loyal to him. He is the face of a franchise and represents the rebirth of a city, a city I call my home away from home. You can live in any city in the world but New Orleans is the only city that lives in you.
He was the fastest to 40,000 yards. He was the fastest to 50,000 yards. He is knocking on 60,000 yards’ door. He has thrown over 400 touchdown passes, has never had a negative thing written about him personally and has hoisted the Lombardi trophy.
Few men will have left an impression upon the NFL like Drew Brees. One of the good guys, I remember him as a sophomore at Purdue. My man crush started then…Purdue averaged less than 3 rushes as an offense per game yet Brees tore up the Big 10 and would later capture the Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year. His junior season, Brees led the Boilermakers to their first Big 10 title in three decades.
Before he’s done, spend some time watching him. He is a master within the pocket, maneuvering it to open passing lanes his 5’11 3/4” frame can see through. His downfield accuracy is still there, it’s only a question of whether his body can continue to hold up.
Brees was the second quarterback drafted in 2001. Michael Vick was the first. I hold the entire NFL responsible for this egregious tragedy. I’ve watched Brees live here in Philly, I’ve gotten up close to him at the Superdome in New Orleans. He is a magnetic leader, on and off the field, and Sunday could be one of the last chances I get to see him in my town. I’ll be rooting for the Birds but I’ll focused in on Drew who was kind enough to get the schedule makers to place the Saints in town for my birthday weekend.
Oh, and I own an official SBXLIV Brees jersey which cost me a boatload of cash so don’t tell my wife, ok?
The Pick: Saints 27 Eagles 21 New Orleans’ run defense is one of the worst in the league but this is one of those games where a terrible unit could get right. Philadelphia’s offensive line, already void of talent, is bruised, battered and beaten. I also can’t put any faith in the Eagles’ offense until I see four quarters of quality. I’d like to see them not wait until the second half to stretch the field. Philly will also need to control the clock more because what kind of damage do you think Drew Brees can do with 41 minutes of time of possession?
I’ll be watching Brees. Here’s some other things you should be keyed in on this weekend in YOUR Week 5 What 2 Watch 4…
Washington at Atlanta I knew the Falcons would be good but they have a legitimate shot at 5 – 0 with the Redskins coming to town. Remember how putrid the NFC South was last year? After Sunday, Atlanta and Carolina (bye) could be a combined 9 – 0.
Seattle at Cincinnati Week 5’s heavyweight bout is a good one. The Bengals, looking to go to 5 – 0 thanks to great defense and the phenomenal play of Andy Dalton welcome the Seahawks who are looking to go above .500 for the first time in 2015. Russell Wilson has been sacked a ton and that trend looks to continue against a fierce Bengals front.
St. Louis at Green Bay Aaron Rodgers is now 20-1 in his last 21 starts at Lambeau Field. He also hasn’t thrown an interception there since the Reagan administration. The Rams are a complete team now thanks to the arrival of rookie running back Todd Gurley. I smell a Ramwagon upset.
Jacksonville at Tampa Bay Normally, I pass over pitiful matchups but I wanted to take this time to offer a public service announcement…if you don’t have Direct TV or RedZone Network and you live in either of these markets, go to a bar. Order a lot of beer. Watch a different game. You are in my thoughts.
Arizona at Detroit The Cardinals are looking to bounce back from their upset loss to the Ramwagon in Arizona last Sunday and Detroit is attempting to not go 0-5 as most Detroit based companies would like their employees to come to work on Monday.
New England at Dallas Here’s hoping the Patriots’ onslaught of the league doesn’t slow down in Big D. Brandon Weeden is attempting to avoid 0-11 as a starter of recent. Good luck, pal.
Denver at Oakland The Broncos’ defense is a good test for the upstart Raider offense. Oakland quarterback Derek Carr has a quick release and he’ll need it against a ferocious Denver pass rush that dropped Minnesota’s Teddy Bridgewater 7 times last week.
San Francisco at New York Giants The team to watch in the NFC East is the Giants. You get the feeling they’re about to go on a run with that potent offense finally clicking. The 49ers have to figure out a way to settle quarterback Colin Kaepernick down who has, seemingly, forgotten all he has learned about throwing a football, mechanically.
And finally, as if I didn’t make you queasy enough slobbering over Drew Brees already, here’s the straw to break the camel’s back. The New Orleans Saints, each year, hold an open practice – scrimmage at nearby Tulane University. Tulane Stadium happens to be located near an upper class suburb where Drew resides. Below is a very recent photo of Brees, a first ballot hall of fame quarterback and the, unquestioned, most popular person in the entire state of Louisiana WALKING HOME FROM PRACTICE carrying his shoulder pads alongside the local kids that live in his neighborhood. Unbelievable. The NFL is going to miss him someday.
Check back here on Tuesday at voodoobrown.com for my NFL Notes & Musings which may or may not include more Brees worship.
Send all your questions to me this year to the Eagledelphia Twitter @EagledelphiaPA as I’m answering their mailbag this season!
Don’t forget to start each and every Football Friday off with me and Big Daddy Graham early mornings on Sportsradio 94WIP in Philadelphia!
Follow me on Twitter: @darrendegaetano