Brees proud of Saints bond
Drew Brees says the bond between the New Orleans Saints and their fans can drive them to a first ever Super Bowl.
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 21/01/10 2:59pm
Drew Brees hopes the bond between the New Orleans Saints and their supporters can help drive the team to their first ever Super Bowl by beating the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
Brees joined the Saints as a free agent five years ago and he along with coach Sean Payton have helped turn around the fortunes of the struggling black and golds.
The gun-slinging quarterback joined the Saints just six months after hurricane Katrina devastated the city, but he happily turned down a better prospect on paper with Miami to try and help the city and the team find its feet again.
Fortunes between the team and the city seem to be linked as now the Saints are on the verge of their first ever Super Bowl as a sign of city recovering from such an epic disaster.
Brees knew it would be a tough road when he joined, but the Texan felt like he could help both the team and city rebuild its fortunes.
"It's been unbelievable, I said this from the beginning, I felt like it was a calling." Brees said.
"An opportunity to come here and not only being a part of the rebuilding of the organisation and getting the team back to its winning ways, but to be part of the rebuilding of the city and the region. It's been very special.
"You watched hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and New Orleans specifically on TV, and you just don't understand the magnitude of what happened here and the devastation until you actually come down and see it with your own eyes."
"So as a free agent, when I came on my visit six months post Katrina, it was still very much in shambles."
The Superdome that now provides such a hostile atmosphere for visiting NFL teams housed thousands of New Orleans residents as a makeshift shelter during the hurricane, and it is apt that the vociferous support of the fans could now play a huge part in making the Super Bowl.
Brees leads the best offence in the NFL, and on Sunday they can go one step closer to becoming the best team in the NFL if they can beat Brett Favre's Vikings.
No team has a stronger bond with it's fans though, and Texan triggerman Brees is delighted he made the decision to join the Saints ahead of the Dolphins - with the 31-year-old equally as proud of his part in rebuilding the city as the football team.
"Your two choices are Miami and New Orleans," he recalled. "New Orleans 80% of the city damaged post Katrina and you're going there six months post Katrina.
"Or Miami, you know, from an outsider's perspective you say that is an obvious choice.
"For me, it was much different. I tried to look a lot deeper than just on the surface. You're looking around at a lot of the neighbourhoods and there are still boats in living rooms and trucks flipped upside down on top of houses.
"For me, I looked at that as an opportunity. An opportunity to be part of the rebuilding process. How many people get that opportunity in their life to be a part of something like that?
"What we were able to do as a team and organisation and the fans and the people of the city we were able to kind of really form a bond and come together.
"That bond is I think what's helped carry us all through and given everybody hope and uplifted the spirits of everyone."