Bradley Handwerger / WWLTV.com Sports Reporter
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METAIRIE, La. ― At some point, Drew Brees’ time with the New Orleans Saints will come to an end.
But Friday, he made one thing clear.
His family's time as New Orleanians never will.
“We’re always going to have a strong connection with New Orleans, we’re always going to give back to New Orleans and I’m talking like 20, 30, 40 years from now,” Brees said on a conference call with local media. “This is a place that is very special in our hearts.”
Brees doesn't plan on going anywhere. In the same interview, he said he would be "beyond stunned" if he played anywhere else.
Brees and his Brees Dream Foundation have spent tons of time and money helping out around New Orleans, including donating $1 million for the renovation of the Patrick F. Taylor Hope Lodge for Cancer, $1.8 million towards aiding schools and their athletic facilities and money towards the renovation of Joe Brown Park in New Orleans East.
More than his NFL records and Super Bowl MVP, that’s what Brees said he’s most proud of, though he understands his on-field successes correlate directly to what he can do outside of the sidelines.
“I feel like everybody has stepped up to do their part and really that’s all Brittany and I have tried to do is do our part and understand the platform that we’ve been given and the opportunity that we’ve been given to give back to the community, leave a legacy and have a positive impact on so many people, especially young people, when you talk about creating a long-term plan for the city and giving people hope,” Brees said.
Then again, there’s the small part of lifting spirits that comes with what he does with the Saints that plays a part the giddiness of the city, too.
“I mean that puts smiles on people’s faces,” Brees said. “That puts a pep in their step when they wake up Monday morning to go to work and I think it does so much for the city and we have the greatest fans in the world, there’s no question about that.
“I think each and every day, ‘What can I do today to make my team better, this city better?’ That’s my mentality.”
And in the end, that might be why New Orleanians have fallen in love with Brees in total.
It’s not just what he does on the field and it’s not just what he does off of it. It’s what he has done for others, giving back in the hopes that eventually, those he has given to will pass it on in the future.
“That’s what it’s all about, especially as you get older,” Brees said. “I think that’s what life’s all about is trying to leave a positive impact and leave a legacy and leave your mark and leave it better than you found it, and I think that’s what we’ve tried to do. And you know what? Who knows what the future holds.”