Brees Dubbed as SI’s “Sportsman of the Year”

Posted: November 30, 2010 in News
Drew Brees

This upcoming cover for Sports Illustrated highlights the year's best athlete for his performance on and off the field - Drew Brees (SI.com).

It was announced Tuesday that Saints quarterback Drew Brees has been chosen by Sports Illustrated as the 57th annual “Sportsman of the Year.” While this may come as of no shock, Brees has had quite the good luck this last calendar year.

The trend of the last decade has certainly been to choose NFL quarterbacks for this prestigious award. Brees in now the fifth QB to receive the honor. Terry Bradshaw won his in 1979, Joe Montana in 1990, Tom Brady in 2005, and Brett Favre in his final Green Bay season back in 2007. Of the last six winners, an NFL quarterback has been selected half of the time.

“The more that I’ve learned about the award and that it goes well beyond what you accomplish on the field, that it’s very much about what you do off the field as well, with community service and your family, makes the award even more special to me,” Brees said in a statement to NFL.com.

The last 12 months have certainly been kind to Brees.The once thought injury plagued and washed up San Diego Charger had his career resurrected in 2006 when New Orleans signed him as a free agent. He would lead the Saints to their first ever Super Bowl victory in February of 2010. Additionally, he has become one of the relatable faces of the NFL in advertising and publicity. This would include the NFLShop.com and NyQuil commercials as well as being the cover man for EA Sport’s Madden NFL 11 video game.

Over the last seven seasons, Brees has only missed two games which includes one from last year late in the season as a means of rest and caution. In 2005, Brees torn his labrum after a crushing blow by Denver’s John Lynch. Brees required surgery for his shoulder and rotator cuff and rehabbed his body back to health.

San Diego reportedly offered their quarterback a 5-year/$50M contract with few incentives. Brees felt his play was worthy of an “elite” quarterback and decided to test the free agent market. The Dolphins were rumored to be in the running until they inked former Viking Daunte Culpepper. Miami wasn’t sure if his shoulder would be 100% and decided to pass on making an offer. Brees fell into the Saints lap when he signed a 6-year/$60M contract in 2006.

Ever since that point, Brees has had nothing but success in the Big Easy. In his first year, the Saints surprised many critics by making it all the way to the NFC Championship game at Soldier Field, which the Bears won 39-14. New Orleans missed the playoffs the following two years but soon returned in 2009 and stormed onto the scene as the NFC’s winningest team that year. Obviously the rest of the story is known now, but Brees was considered to be the key that made the Saints engine go.

Statistically, Brees has been every fan’s dream when it comes to fantasy football figures. In 2008 he finished just 15 yards shy of breaking Dan Marino’s all time record for passing yards in a single season. Since becoming a Saint, he has passed for 21,619 yards, 145 touchdowns, and 72 interceptions. Considered to be one of the NFL’s top five quarterbacks of his generation, this award from Sports Illustrated cements what fans have known for quite some time. Brees is a special player and his banner year will now be adored for many more to come.

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