Poor Drew Brees. Can’t catch a break. (Fortunately, his job is not to catch, but to throw.)
But three successive seasons in a row, three legit Super Bowl chances, and not a one comes to fruition.
Bad calls. Bad plays. Bad days. Always on the brink. And now. In these treacherous, torturous times. What’s a good fellow to do?
A few weeks ago, when the kneeling and respect thing came back into play on the national view, Drew opined that he could not abide teammates who won’t stand to honor the flag/police/military/country/President or whatever the hell it is that people think the National Anthem is all about.
Some folks cheered. Some folks jeered.
So Drew got schooled by teammates like Michael Thomas, learned a little bit about what it’s like to be young, black and American. It sucks, mostly. We all know that.
So Drew gets – I believe the term is – woke. He says OK, I get it. I’ll abide. He’s a thoughtful man. A Christian with a capital “C,” not the other kind.
And you know who I’m talking about.
So this weekend Drew joins his teammates at practice wearing the name of Jacob Blake on his helmet.
Now, Jacob is no prince. We all know that by now. No one who ever gets shot seven times in the back by the cops is a prince. We can assume that. But the cops are neither judge nor jury. They are the “law and order” we hear so much about these daze, but see so little of.
We can assume a lot. Jacob was a rapist, we’re told. Jacob was a beater, a thief, a defiler, a bane of civilization. Thus it was wrong to honor the name of a young man – errant in his ways – for getting gunned down, unarmed, from behind, in front of his three kids, seven times in the back.
Drew – who has four kids of his own – perhaps overcompensating for his previously tone-deaf views on BLM, joined his teammates in bringing attention to what happened in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Now, say what you want about Kenosha, but outside of Racine, Wisconsin, Kenosha makes the best Kringles in the world. You can look it up.
Kringles are a kind of ancient pretzel – pretzels having been introduced to Scandinavian culture by Roman Catholic monks in the 13th century. They can be salty or sweet. They are the cottage industry upon which the bakeries of Racine and Kenosha – sort of southeast Wisconsin’s version of the Twin Cities – are built.
I’ve got Badger blood in me. Trust me on this. You can learn some shit reading this blog.
But I stray.
Kenosha is not a bad place. But a bad thing happened there and that’s how and why you have now heard of it. And no matter his moral or legal failings, Jacob Blake got plowed down in police gunfire. Unarmed. From behind.
And professional athletes in the year 2020 are empowered, or at least feel so – in the apparent vacuum of leadership, insight or inspiration from the quarters of politics, business, corporations and media.
Now it’s up to men and women like LeBron James, Doc Rivers, Serena Williams and, yes, Drew Brees, to try and show the way. To inform, educate, disarm, explain, proclaim and call for reason, justice and peace.
We’re all for that, yes? Reason, Justice and Peace? Remember those?
But now the Greek chorus has weighed in on Drew’s not-so-subtle agency on the matter of race relations – and lack thereof. Drew’s gone too far, many say. (Many, many, many, if Facebook is an arbiter of our times. And it is.)
All this BLM BS. I’m done with the Saints. I’m done with the NFL. I’m done with the NBA, the WNBA and MLB. NASCAR removed the Confederate flag. DONE with that! Shut up and dribble!
Hollywood and its liberal bloc? DONE! The media. Done! PBS, Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers. Done! Just give a 17-year-old a long gun and box of ammo and show these snowflakes how it’s really “done” to keep law and order on the streets of Kenosha.
Until Drew and the Saints whup ass on Tom Brady and the Bucs on the NFL’s opening day, Sept. 13. And then they go on a winning tear. Sure, the stadiums are empty, but that’s not because people don’t want to go to the games.
But you disavow sports and disavow the news media and disavow Hollywood now and so what does that leave you? Read books?
See how long that will last.
“Who Dat, Who Dat, Who Dat,” rings out like “USA, USA, USA,” at a rally somewhere, anywhere. The flock will come home.
Drew is conflicted, as any thoughtful human is in these times. And doing what so many are not doing: Listening. Willing to learn. Taking up a cause for justice. Not howling into the digital echo chamber from whence you read this post.
It’s really effing loud out here – in here – and the condemnations are so hollow and shallow. “I’m done with the Saints and the NFL!”
The hell you are. You were born Black & Gold and you will die Black & Gold and any protestations to the otherwise are B & S.
Scream all you want at your laptop or smart phone, but you know damn well when #9 says “hike” – although I don’t think they really say that anymore – point being: You’re going to be in that number. We’re all going to be in that number. It’s one of the few damn things left that holds us together.
The Saints are coming. And Drew is the guy who leads the charge. Remember who got us here. Remember that when you shuffle around with your TV remote on Sunday afternoons this fall.
Hold in your heart forgiveness and, in your mind, an openness. Are you going to change the channel on Sunday, Sept. 13, at 3:30 p.m., to watch a rerun of “The Beverly Hillbillies” on MeTV instead of the Saints game?
We all know the answer to that. So knock off the false umbrage and piety. No matter who you’re voting for in November. There is one tie that binds us. Unshakable. Unbreakable faith, like the City itself.
The Saints are coming. Get over yourself. Get in that number.