Charged up

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Sunday involved a lot of emotion for the New Orleans Saints and their fans as they won their first game of the season, but a different feeling encompassed the Saints’ quarterback.

Drew Brees and the Saints pulled off an improbable win, taking advantage of two Chargers turnovers to score 14 unanswered points in the final five minutes to complete a miraculous comeback, winning 35-34.

But before and after those 60 heart-pounding minutes, it was more about Brees’ return to a place that closed a door on his career. However, as we all know, when one door closes, another opens.

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When Brees walked into Qualcomm Stadium, he was

walking into a particularly haunting memory that, I assume, he uses as fuel to this day. Brees said he walked to the spot on the field where his future as an NFL quarterback was once in doubt after suffering a torn labrum and a partially torn rotator cuff while playing for the Chargers.

During a pregame huddle on Sunday, Brees gave a zealous speech that no one will ever forget.

“I’m grateful for a lot of things in my life,” Brees told his teammates before their game. “But I’m most grateful to be a part of this. Because right here, right here on this spot 11 years ago, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to play football again. I thought my dream was getting ripped away from me. But I got another chance.

“To play for the New Orleans Saints. And to be a part of this team. I don’t take that for granted. Not once. Embrace this opportunity, men. Let’s show these boys about the New Orleans Saints.

“This is the New Orleans Saints. You can see it in my eyes. The Saints who believe it shall win. The enemy who denies must die. The Saints will always fight ‘til the end. And have each other’s back. For the strength of the pack, is a Saint. The strength of the Saints.”

For me, the emotions Brees felt before and after the game trumped the emotions of the stunning come back. His leadership and dedication show how important the future Hall of Famer is to his team, and the NFL. He is the epitome of not only an NFL quarterback, but a hard working father, son and friend.