What Drew Brees Becoming The All-Time Pass Leader Really Means

What Drew Brees Becoming The All-Time Pass Leader Really Means

There is nobody else who deserves this accolade more.

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For anyone who watched the Saints and Redskins game, they got to witness a moment in history. On a 62-yard touchdown pass, Drew Brees became the all-time leading passer in the NFL. For someone who many considered too short to play in the NFL or called him done after a shoulder injury, Brees has come a long way and has victimized opposing team defenses. He is also on his way to joining the 500 touchdown club that is home to Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, and Tom Brady. Throughout the game, current and former players were tweeting their support for Brees and how happy they are for him. As someone who grew up two hours from New Orleans, I can admit how happy I am for Drew Brees but he was not just having a record-setting night he was showing the city of New Orleans how much they mean to him.

The NFL is weird. People who are considered experts try to determine who will be successful in the NFL and who won't. Tom Brady was told he didn't have a strong arm and lacked a tight spiral. Drew Brees was told he seems more comfortable in the short/intermediate passing attack and wasn't tall enough. Whoever these experts are must not do a good job looking over these guys. Drew Brees journey to being the all-time passer is an interesting one. He grew up in Texas where he leads his high school to a state championship, was 28-0-1 as a starter and was the honorable mention for the USA Today All USA High school football team. However, despite his accolades, only two colleges were interested in him and ultimately Brees went to Purdue.

After excelling for four years at Purdue, Brees was drafted in the second round of the 2001 NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers. After some up and down seasons with the team Drew Brees showed his dominance and was invited to his first Pro Bowl in 2004. This seems like a great start to the career for Brees, however, despite his success the Chargers went out and drafted Eli Manning with the first pick in the NFL draft in the 2004 NFL Draft (later traded for Philip Rivers) this event seemed to spark Drew Brees and now it looked like San Diego had their quarterback.

In the 2005 season, things would look bleak when in a game against the Denver Broncos Brees fumbled and jumped for the ball. After jumping on the ball one of the Denver players Brees in the shoulder causing a labrum injury. He needed surgery and at the end of the season, Brees decided to find a new team.

So what does this have to do with New Orleans? Well in 2005 New Orleans had experienced one of the worst hurricanes in the United States known as Hurricane Katrina. The city of New Orleans was broken, the Superdome was a mess and there was talk of the team moving to San Antonio, TX. The Saints were not a successful team and needed help. Enter Sean Payton. Payton was a well known assistant coach and if there was anyone who could revive New Orleans it was Payton. He needed a quarterback though and he was willing to take a risk on Drew Brees, the quarterback claimed might not play again.

So I have told you the story of how Brees got to New Orleans but you're probably wondering why people view him as the hero of NOLA or why so many people love him. Being told you're too short and that there is a chance you may not play again motivated Brees to become one of the best but remember when Brees became a free agent there weren't many people who were interested in him. When Brees came down to New Orleans to visit the city was still pretty damaged and he realized the city and the team needed a hero and that is why Brees came to New Orleans.

As much as I want to say that Tom Brady is the best quarterback of all time being able to see your hometown team rally behind someone like Drew Brees still brings me happiness.

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To The Coach Who Took Away My Confidence

You had me playing in fear.
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"The road to athletic greatness is not marked by perfection, but the ability to constantly overcome adversity and failure."

As a coach, you have a wide variety of players. You have your slow players, your fast players. You have the ones that are good at defense. You have the ones that are good at offense. You have the ones who would choose to drive and dish and you have the ones that would rather shoot the three. You have the people who set up the plays and you have the people who finish them. You are in charge of getting these types of players to work together and get the job done.

Sure, a coach can put together a pretty set of plays. A coach can scream their head off in a game and try and get their players motivated. A coach can make you run for punishment, or they can make you run to get more in shape. The most important role of a coach, however, is to make the players on their team better. To hopefully help them to reach their fullest potential. Players do make mistakes, but it is from those mistakes that you learn and grow.

To the coach the destroyed my confidence,

You wanted to win, and there was nothing wrong with that. I saw it in your eyes if I made a mistake, you were not too happy, which is normal for a coach. Turnovers happen. Players miss shots. Sometimes the girl you are defending gets past you. Sometimes your serve is not in bounds. Sometimes someone beats you in a race. Sometimes things happen. Players make mistakes. It is when you have players scared to move that more mistakes happen.

I came on to your team very confident in the way that I played the game. Confident, but not cocky. I knew my role on the team and I knew that there were things that I could improve on, but overall, I was an asset that could've been made into an extremely great player.

You paid attention to the weaknesses that I had as a player, and you let me know about them every time I stepped onto the court. You wanted to turn me into a player I was not. I am fast, so let me fly. You didn't want that. You wanted me to be slow. I knew my role wasn't to drain threes. My role on the team was to get steals. My role was to draw the defense and pass. You got mad when I drove instead of shot. You wanted me to walk instead of run. You wanted me to become a player that I simply wasn't. You took away my strengths and got mad at me when I wasn't always successful with my weaknesses.

You did a lot more than just take away my strengths and force me to focus on my weaknesses. You took away my love for the game. You took away the freedom of just playing and being confident. I went from being a player that would take risks. I went from being a player that was not afraid to fail. Suddenly, I turned into a player that questioned every single move that I made. I questioned everything that I did. Every practice and game was a battle between my heart and my head. My heart would tell me to go to for it. My heart before every game would tell me to just not listen and be the player that I used to be. Something in my head stopped me every time. I started wondering, "What if I mess up?" and that's when my confidence completely disappeared.

Because of you, I was afraid to fail.

You took away my freedom of playing a game that I once loved. You took away the relaxation of going out and playing hard. Instead, I played in fear. You took away me looking forward to go to my games. I was now scared of messing up. I was sad because I knew that I was not playing to my fullest potential. I felt as if I was going backward and instead of trying to help me, you seemed to just drag me down. I'd walk up to shoot, thinking in my head, "What happens if I miss?" I would have an open lane and know that you'd yell at me if I took it, so I just wouldn't do it.

SEE ALSO: The Coach That Killed My Passion

The fight to get my confidence back was a tough one. It was something I wish I never would've had to do. Instead of becoming the best player that I could've been, I now had to fight to become the player that I used to be. You took away my freedom of playing a game that I loved. You took away my good memories in a basketball uniform, which is something I can never get back. You can be the greatest athlete in the world, but without confidence, you won't go very far.

Cover Image Credit: Christina Silies

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Andy Ruiz Jr. May Not Look Like The Typical Boxer, But It Doesn't Make His Victory Any Less Deserved

Andy Ruiz Jr. just proved that dreams can come true.

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On June 1, boxing fans witnessed something special as Andy 'Destroyer' Ruiz Jr. defeated Anthony Joshua via TKO after going seven rounds in the ring at Madison Square Garden in New York City to become the first ever Mexican-American heavyweight champion of the world. Ruiz Jr. (33-1) was a heavy underdog (+1100) heading into the match-up with Joshua (22-1) but ultimately flipped the script to hand the British fighter his first professional loss ever. Surely the fight will go down as one of the greatest moments in sports history.

Some members of the media and fans have been quick to label the fight as a 'fluke' and 'rigged' which in the end is no surprise to me. That always happens in the sports world. Many did not believe we would get this result yet failed to remember the one rule of sports -- expect the unexpected. Over the past week, I've been coming to the defense of Ruiz Jr. in the wake of others choosing to call him a joke.

I was shocked and surprised to hear two of my favorite sports analysts, Stephen A. Smith and Shannon Sharpe, make fun of Ruiz Jr. and frame him as just a guy that looked like 'Butterbean.' When I viewed their tweets on social media it honestly made me upset. Sure, Ruiz Jr. may not have fit the mold of what a professional boxer should look like, but they simply should not have just judged a book by its cover.

Personally, I thought it was disrespectful for Smith and Sharpe to throw shade at Ruiz Jr. in the way they did. I felt like they should have done a better job of acknowledging the winner considering the result of the match. Yet choosing to bash someone because of their physical composition appeared like a low blow. The very foundation of sports allows people of all shapes, sizes, genders, races, and backgrounds to compete -- that's why most people follow them in the first place.

Smith was open behind his reasoning for his tweets in which I'd like to shed some light on. Smith was upset about how boxing time after time contains elements of corruption with fans having to wait years until promoters schedule big fights. He along with other followers of the sport were looking forward to the highly anticipated yet potential future match-up between Joshua and fellow heavyweight Deontay Wilder. Smith believes that by Ruiz Jr. beating Joshua it essentially diminished the chances of that fight ever happening with the same amount of buildup, but that still doesn't provide any excuse for mocking the new heavyweight champ.

Ruiz Jr. was there for a reason and ultimately seized the opportunity that was right in front of him -- that's not his fault for getting the job done. Just because someone doesn't look like the part doesn't mean they don't possess the same qualities and characteristics as their counterparts. The following pair of videos display the amount of talent Ruiz Jr. does have in the ring. Even fellow boxer Canelo Alvarez and former UFC lightweight/featherweight champion Conor McGregor acknowledge that and have come out to say something on their behalf.

Unfortunately, I don't expect much to change because most will stand their ground and continue to behave the same way. All I'm saying is I did not enjoy some of the top figures within sports media stereotyping Ruiz Jr. based on his looks. I would think that we would be better than that and recognize that anyone can accomplish something great in this world. It all just starts with a simple dream.

I understand and respect other people's takes on this subject, maybe I'm looking into things deeper than what they are, but it struck a chord with me and I felt the need to say something about it.

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