Since arriving in 2006, Drew Brees has turned the New Orleans Saints franchise around for good. They are no longer the doormat of the NFL. They are NFC Champions on their way to play in the biggest game ever for their franchise and there couldn’t be a city that needed this more. After Hurricane Katrina come through and wiped out the city, many people on the Bayou had nothing to cheer about except for the Saints. The city has lived vicariously through the Saints since 2005 and it couldn’t be sweeter for Saints fans in the Bayou. Well I guess a Super Bowl win could be much sweeter but only time will tell if Brees and Co. can bring home the hardware.
Drew Brees joined XX Sports Radio in San Diego to talk about what was going through his head when Garrett Hartley went out to kick the field goal, what he said to Brett Favre after the game, and how crazy the city of New Orleans is going right now.
Describe what is going through your head when your kicker, Garrett Hartley, is going into the game in Overtime to win the game:
“Man I hope he makes it. Throughout the course of that game it was just kind of back and forth. Obviously being down at some points and up at other times then at the very end when they are driving and we are able to stop them. Then the game goes to OT and the minute that we won that coin toss there was no doubt that we were taking that ball and either score or kick one through the uprights to win this game and then sure enough you get down there and they are lining up for the field goal and you are like, this is our chance. All you ask for is a chance to win in the end.”
On what he said to Brett Favre after the game:
“You know there is never really time to talk it out after a game like that because you have got so many media and cameras around you and obviously the fact that we just won the NFC Championship. Here comes the confetti and all of this other stuff. I told him that he is a warrior and a competitor. You guys saw the game. He was taking hit after hit and just kept getting right back up and he kept slinging it around. Obviously for him it has been a very physically and emotionally-draining season as he said after the game. It was kind of like as he was walking off the field, we kind of shook hands and talked a little bit and you could tell that he had put his heart out there. He laid it all out on the line. Unfortunately for him we had won the game but he is a warrior.”
Whether he thought of the game as him vs. Favre:
“Any time you go up against a guy like him or even before it was Kurt Warner, you are talking about guys that are future Hall of Famers, two of the best of all-time to ever play the game. At the latter stages of their career...Nobody knows if Kurt Warner is going to come back and play next year or Brett Favre for that matter. For me to think that potentially that maybe their last game and I get the honor to play against them. Well I mean obviously I have a goal in mind and obviously they stand in our way. Obviously, it is not me against him. It is me against their defense just like it is him against our defense but certainly if you feel like you can play better than them then it gives your team a better chance to win.”
What it feels like to hold up the NFC Championship Trophy in front of your home crowd:
“It is unbelievable. I had been waiting for that moment for awhile. I really just tried to take in the moment for the first part of that and just kind of stood off to the side of the stage and just kind of looked around. Obviously it was a packed house. The Who Dat? Nation was just kind of going crazy. The confetti coming down and obviously the George Halas Championship Trophy sitting there and all of the guys with their championship hats on and shirts with kind of just big smiles. Knowing how hard we worked and obviously now the opportunity we have to play in the Super Bowl in Miami. It has been a lot of work and adversity along the way but here we are and it was a very special moment.”
How crazy the city of New Orleans is going right now:
“Oh man it is crazy. Everybody has said that Mardi Gras has started about three weeks early. I think it is going to a month straight of Mardi Gras-type celebration just because everybody is beside themselves. People rushing to try to find out a way to get to Miami and get tickets to this game and everything else. You know our organization has been around 43 years and they have never had anything like this, obviously. In fact, there has been so many down years. Back in ’06 we make it to the NFC Championship game in the history of the organization and this year has kind of been the year of firsts. We win 13 games in a row that is a first. We secured the number one seed that it a first. Host two playoff games and the NFC Championship game that is a first. What a jump for this economy and just the spirit for the city. I mean it is something that this city needed. The city deserves it. The people deserve it and I am just happy that I could give it to them.”
Tags: Brees vs. Manning, Brett Favre, Drew Brees, Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans Saints, NFC Champions, NFC Championship, NFL Playoffs, Peyton vs. Drew, Sean Payton, Super Bowl XLIV, top-tier quarterback in the NFL, vs