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Drew Brees is the Face of the NFL

The Undisputed King of the NFL. Right?

It probably hit many fans long before I’ve come to the realization — or should I say the strong opinion. There is no real way to assert that someone is or is not the face of the NFL. Such a thing is inherently not a fact-based proposition. But it occured to me today that despite the omnipotence of Manning, the allure (no matter the counter current of hatred) that surrounds The Gunslingerm, and the magnetism of young players like Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson, there is only man who has emerged as the new IT representative of the National Football League.

LT has faded. Receivers like Moss and even Rice before him can no longer stake claim to the title. Quarterbacks are predisposed to assuming the throne of lead actor in the NFL’s annual drama, but it’s no longer about Peyton or even Tommy Terrific. Nope. One man is the league’s poster boy…its spokesperson…arguably, its best player. Well, hello, Drew Brees.

Yup, Peyton may still deliver “cut that meat” lines better than any player in the game and sport a sick Sprint-inspired mustache time and again, but Brees has, at least temporarily, knocked him off the pedestal. Super Bowl MVP. Leader behind one big part of a city’s emotional resurrection. Endorser to more and more brands by the day. Madden cover boy. Brees is everywhere, and it’s not hard to see why. His numbers are off the chart. The story of the Saints is one of the best in rececnt team sports memory. Plus, he’s been highly involved in the NO community and is a former Walter Payton Award Winner, all of which were factors in SI naming Brees Sportsman of the Year in 2009.

In early 2010, BusinessWeek tagged Brees 25th on their list of Power 100 athletes – a measure that seemed to combine and assess marketability, personal earnings, popularity and overall notoriery among the American public. Interestingly, they had this to say at the time supporting that ranking:

Why he’s on the list: Brees is the leader of the league’s best offense, which powered the Saints transformation from doormat to dangerous. Having come back from reconstructive surgery himself Brees and New Orleans are the kinds of comeback stories America loves. By taking the Saints to the Super Bowl he’s already proved he’s a hero. If they win, he could run for president

Well, the Saints came marching into Miami soon after that piece was written. They strolled out with the Lombardi trophy and Brees the MVP award. The image of Brees atop the podium, son in arms as confetti rained down around him sticks in my memory, as I’m sure it does millions of football fans and those who only catch the season’s ultimate finale each year. And while Brees may not be quite ready for the oval office, I would argue he’s at least secured the crown of King of the NFL for now.


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