NEW ORLEANS New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is many things to many people -- father, son, husband, brother, team captain and consummate professional to name a few.
He has excelled at every level of competitive football and projects as a first ballot inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, when his stellar NFL career comes to an end.
But most of all Drew Christopher Brees is human.
So for anyone to think or say that Sunday’s Week 4 matchup against the San Diego Chargers in southern California is just another game or merely the next game on the Saints schedule doesn’t truly appreciate who Brees is or what he is all about.
Indeed, Brees wants to help the winless Black and Gold get off the schneid. That supersedes any personal goals or motivations.
But these are the Chargers, the franchise that once viewed Brees as “The Man’’ in 2001, then, in later considered him to be damaged goods after suffering a potentially career-threatening shoulder injury in the final game of the 2005 season.
Now, 10 years after leaving San Diego in a contractual huff and handing the starting job to heir-apparent Philip Rivers, the 37-year-old Brees will play his first and perhaps last game in Qualcomm Stadium wearing the Black and Gold. His current contract with the Saints voids after the 2017 season.
It should be noted that Brees and his family make their offseason home in San Diego. So yes, No. 9 can go home again. And based on his comments to reporters this week, Brees would like nothing better than to emerge victorious.
“I can close my eyes, and I can visualize being in that stadium,’’ he said. “I can visualize the names that are up on the Ring of Honor. I can visualize the scoreboard and the flags that kind of wave around the stadium.
“I’ve been waiting for a moment to go back there. I’m trying to visualize what it is going to be like walking into that stadium for the first time in a long time and try to get those feelings and emotions right now, so once the game starts, I can walk in and I’m ready to go.’’
In other words, so he can walk in and be ready to kick butt, avenge a dreadful wrong, extract a pound of flesh, to humiliate, embarrass and conquer.
Those are my words.
But it wouldn’t surprise me if Brees wasn’t thinking along the same lines.
After all, Drew Brees is only human, though he often plays like someone from another world.