I always have found it interesting how different people gauge the passing of time. For some, it is seeing old pictures of themselves, perhaps looking leaner with fewer wrinkles. While for others, it’s realizing that their kids no longer want to play with toys and now are much more interested in their iPads. And for NFL fans, this past week reminded us of that ever-ticking clock as we saw the end of an era with Drew Brees playing his last game as a New Orleans Saint.
Hyperbole is far too common in the sports world, but I feel confident in saying that no single player has meant more to a franchise and its city than Drew Brees has meant to the Saints and the City of New Orleans.
The Early Days Of “The Aints”
For those of you too young to remember, before Drew Brees came to NOLA, the Saints were like the Jacksonville Jaguars. Only much worse. In their 38 years of existence pre- Brees, the Saints won a total of one playoff game. Fans would show up to games in a half empty Superdome with brown bags on their heads. The team was referred to around the league as “The Aints”. That longstanding futility on the field was nothing compared to what was to come. In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the city like no natural disaster before it. Katrina caused extensive damage to the Superdome, which was subsequently used as a storm shelter for the homeless and displaced citizens who could not evacuate in time.
The Saints were unable to play any home games for the entire 2005 season and split time between LSU Stadium and the AlamoDome in San Antonio. Talks were well underway on a permanent relocation to San Antonio. The owner attempted to vacate the Saints lease with the Superdome, but ultimately decided to delay the decision until January 2007.
Drew Brees Joins The Saints in 2006
Meanwhile, Drew Brees, who had been replaced by a younger QB in San Diego, was a free agent, making his choice on where to play next. Despite the uncertainty, destruction, and despair from Katrina, Brees signed with the Saints as a free agent in 2006. He said he was up for the challenge, wanted to help the people of NOLA find joy again, and wanted to be a part of the City’s rebirth. How many athletes do you know that would not only accept that challenge but embrace it?
The Saints won their first game back in New Orleans in September 2006 led by Brees and marked by a dramatic blocked punt. They went on to have the most successful season in their history – reaching the NFC Championship Game for the first time ever. The city that had been beaten down so badly finally had something good to get behind and it galvanized the entire region.
The rest, as they say, is history. Brees led the Saints to a Super Bowl win in 2010 and to several playoff appearances since. The Saints now have one of the strongest fanbases in the league and every citizen of NOLA has Drew Brees to thank. Other players may have won more rings or been bigger on Madison Avenue, but no single player in the history of sports has meant more to a city than Drew Brees meant to NOLA. He will be missed.
As sad as it was to see Drew go out with a few INTs, his defeat did result in an all-time QB matchup this weekend. Two of the greatest – Rodgers and Brady – will face off in the NFC Championship. Add on the two best young QBs facing off in the AFC, and we should have a historically great Championship Sunday. Let’s dive into my sports betting picks recap for the week.
Sports Betting News and Picks Recap
It was yet another winning week for KrackWins, even with our first non-winning college basketball week of the season. The NFL went 5-4-1 (-.2 units) and two winners came in on the College Football Championship game (2-0, +3.5 units). NCAAB went 8-8 (-1.8 units) and the NBA went 3-2 (+.1 units). Our first PGA event of the year went 1-0-1 (+1.75 units). For those of you new to KrackWins, listen up: PGA Golf Matchups have historically been a huge cash cow for us over the years and you can expect plays all season.
Overall, we went 19-14-1 (+3.4 units) for the week. That extends a 15 week winning streak (includes 3 break-even weeks interspersed along the way), but who’s counting. You cannot find that performance anywhere else PERIOD.
By the way, that young QB that pushed Brees out in San Diego and led to his saving the Saints franchise??? His name was Phillip Rivers, who sadly also said farewell this past week. We will miss that salty SOB as well. Enjoy the games this Sunday! We’ll be covering them and more in next week’s sports betting picks recap.