With the 30-20 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday night, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees may have just played his last NFL game.
Ahead of the divisional playoff matchup against Tom Brady, numerous reports said Brees would hang up his cleats following the 2020 season. While the decision to retire seems inevitable, Brees has yet to make any formal announcement.
“I’m going to give myself an opportunity to think about the season. Think about a lot of things. Just like I did last year, and make a decision,” Brees said during the post-game conference.
Regardless of what he decides, Brees has had a terrific career. To honor this, let’s take a look at seven interesting facts about the 42-year-old icon.
Allergic to Dairy Products
Both Brees and his wife, Brittany, are unable to consume any products that contain dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, or pudding. No Cinnamon Toast Crunch or pizza for Drew.
In 2013, So Delicious Dairy Free asked Brees and his wife to become spokespeople for their brand. He enjoys plenty of soy-based products in lieu of dairy.
Earned a Degree In Industrial Management
While student athletes are heralded for their athletic accomplishments and often looked down upon in regard to their personal studies, Brees kicks that stereotype to the curb.
During his four years at Purdue University, Brees took his education quite seriously. Not only was he a three-year starter at the Big Ten school, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in industrial management. It’s a good thing, though. He may be leaning on that degree shortly.
Wears No. 9 to Honor Baseball Great
Football wasn’t the only sport Brees excelled in. While attending high school, he was a talented baseball player as well. His favorite player was Boston Red Sox legend Ted Williams.
Although Williams retired from baseball nearly 20 years before Brees was even born, the Saints’ quarterback wears No. 9 in honor of one of the greatest hitters in professional baseball.
Beaten All 32 NFL Teams
With a 24-23 victory over the Baltimore Ravens in Oct. 2018, Drew Brees became the third quarterback in NFL history to beat all 32 teams. The other two QBs that have accomplished this feat are Peyton Manning and Brett Favre.
Brees defeated the New Orleans Saints while he was the quarterback of the San Diego Chargers. He threw 257 passing yards and 4 touchdowns. He finished the game with a QB rating of 119.8.
Uncle Played QB for Texas Longhorns
Brees’ uncle, Marty Atkins, was an All-Southwest Conference quarterback for the Texas Longhorns before the conference dissolved in 1996 and joined other members of the Big Eight Conference to form the Big 12.
During his four years at Texas in the 1970s, Atkins amassed 1,963 rushing yards, 1,224 passing yards, and 33 touchdowns. Atkins’ brother (Brees’ father) was also a collegiate athlete. He played basketball at Texas A&M.
Suffered Torn ACL in High School
Athletes who tear their ACL seldom return to form. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case for Brees. Although he won all 29 games he started at Westlake High School, he had to overcome a serious injury.
During his junior year, Brees tore his ACL and immediately questioned whether he would ever step onto a football field again. Despite the early doubt, he fought through and went on to have an outstanding college and NFL career.
Took on a Crocodile
During a 2015 guest appearance on “Running Wild with Bear Grylls,” Brees tackled and killed a crocodile in the Panamanian jungle. Not only did the Saints’ QB kill (and eat) the reptile, he also jumped out of a helicopter, and rappelled into a cave.
Grylls lauded Brees for his determination and guts: “When you leap from a helicopter into water that has crocs in it, you need someone who is all-in and will do whatever it takes to have your back. He was that man,” Grylls said.