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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It's Time We Gave Collegiate Bands The Same Respect As The Football Team

Collegiate bands are unfortunately overlooked and under-budgeted by their universities. They receive little appreciation, despite being such an important aspect of a college community.

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It's a beautiful day in the middle of October, and you're at a college football game. You see the sun shining down on a sea of fans, everyone wearing the home team's colors. The smell of hot dogs, pretzels, and other greasy food drifts through the air, as a cool wind blows against the back of your neck. But what is it that you hear? Overpowering every other sound in the stadium, the band is blaring their brass horns and beating their drums. Invisible but everywhere, the music fills the stadium when the team scores, excites the crowd when the game intensifies and provides the soundtrack to your favorite college traditions.

Now, imagine that game without the band. No one is there to play the fight song when a touchdown is scored, or play a victory tune when your team wins. Yes, there would still be music, but it would only be generic pop stuff playing over the speakers. It wouldn't be the same, because you don't get to experience that special kind of energy that comes from live music. Unfortunately, the band does not get enough credit for what they do. Compared to an athletic team, the band is typically overlooked and under-budgeted — especially by the universities themselves.

While the university is busy pouring all money and attention to athletics, the band is left to scavenge for support. Athletic teams receive millions upon millions of dollars, while the band gets next to nothing. My university's band has resorted to requiring each member to raise money on their own and selling $1 chocolate bars, because they receive so little funding. Just a small cut from the athletic budget would make such a vast difference in the lives of the band members. And it's not like the band doesn't deserve it - they most certainly do, with how much they add to a college community. A college without a band is like a belt with no buckle. With no band, you'd be missing a key piece of unity during a game.

The band and athletic teams work just as hard as the other, and both spend so much of their lives committed to their craft. Just like a football team, the band devotes several hours of their day to practicing. Similar to a basketball team, being apart of the band requires precise coordination. Like a soccer team, it is necessary for the band to have high endurance. And as it is with any type of athlete, it is obligatory for each member of the band to value hard work and determination. And must we not forget, the band is at nearly every sporting event, plus more. Unlike several sports, band is a year-round activity — there is no "off-season."

So you might ask yourself, with such similar characteristics to an athletic team, shouldn't the band receive at least some benefits? But here we are, athletic teams receiving all the money and perks, and the band seeing none of that.

The band is such an important aspect of sporting events and pep rallies and is greatly responsible for the fans' emotions and entertainment throughout a game. Unfortunately, most universities fail to see this and don't appreciate how much a band adds to the atmosphere and energy of a college community. Instead, the band continues to be brushed aside, no matter how talented or entertaining they are. I can only hope that in this day and age, with fine arts starting to gain more recognition, that the band will finally receive the respect they deserve.

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To My Teammates, I Am Forever Grateful For Your Friendship And Support

You've made swimming more than just a sport for me.

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I've spent the vast majority of my life as an athlete. From Saturday morning rec softball games, to late night field hockey practices, to my first collegiate swim meet, I have always been part of a team. Something I've learned from this is that a strong team dynamic is not always easy to attain. But when the right people are placed together, the chemistry is unmatched. I have had the privilege to be on countless teams in my life, yet it was not until I started my college career at Towson that I truly felt I had the best people in my corner.

Behind the scenes, sports are just as mentally challenging as they are physically. Without a support system, it can feel nearly impossible at times to keep moving forward. Yet my teammates have shown me how to embrace the suck, and have fun while doing it.

From being around this team, I have gained a whole new sense of what it means to be competitive. It was always pretty typical to see a long, dreadful set being written on the board by a coach and wait for the expected groans to be let out, the dirty looks to be given. It wasn't until I got here that I would get a glimpse of the strenuous practice I had ahead of me, and watch as my teammates got excited to attack it and get ready to do the best they could.

The culture of this team and the atmosphere of this place is unrivaled.

I have already become a better person in and out of the water because of the people I am surrounded by. Even though we differ in personalities, backgrounds, and interests, we know each other better than anyone else. To be teammates with someone means that you are with them a crazy amount of time each day. You see each other at your best moments and are there for each other at the worst moments. We hold each other accountable for everything and are each other's biggest supporters.

When one of us achieves something great, or even just performs well at a meet, no one is happier than the rest of the team.

It is simply because we saw all of the taxing practices, grueling lifts, and mental challenges that were faced just to lead to that one achievement. No one will ever really understand fully what you are going through, except for your teammates.

I have benefited from the late night pizza runs, the post-meet dance parties, the 5:30 am walks to practice, Newell dinner Mondays, and the overall laughs I have shared here, more than anything else. My teammates are some of the greatest friends I'll have, and I am so thankful to be a part of such an incredible team. I am fortunate enough to have earned a spot competing alongside these talented people I get to call my best friends.

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