Sunday, December 13, 2015 was a momentous day for veteran Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Drew threw his 421st career touchdown pass, surpassing Dan Marino (420) for fourth on the All-Time list. The path that has led to this achievement has been far from linear, never a fairytale.
During his junior year in high school, when scouts were on the lookout for promising players, Drew’s season came to an abrupt end. On his 17th birthday, having torn his ACL, Drew thought that his future in football was over.
“For a kid who just lived and breathed sports,” he says, “this was crushing.”
At that time, when he was broken and thought his dreams were in ashes, Drew found hope and a future in something much greater.
“I was sitting in church, on my 17th birthday,” remembers Drew, “in the same pew that my brother and I used to goof around in, but that day was different. The pastor was talking about how the Lord was looking for just a few good men to carry on His Kingdom and to spread the Word — that spoke to me. I felt like Jesus was talking directly to me.”
On that day, that Drew gave his life to Christ; he wanted to live a life that spread the Word to others.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” —Ephesians 2:10
“I knew that there was a bigger plan for me than just sports,” he says, “which I thought was my life and calling up to that point. Suddenly everything became a lot more meaningful.”
But Drew’s football career was not over. After a full recovery, he continued to pursue his dream of playing pro football. In 2001, he was chosen by the San Diego Chargers as the first pick in the second round of the draft.
He has continued to persevere through trials, including a gruesome dislocation of his right shoulder and 360-degree tear of his labrum and rotator cuff. It was a forgone conclusion that his career was over. But once again, Drew beat the odds.
Named the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2004, the Offensive Player of the Year in 2008 and 2011, and the MVP of Super Bowl XLIV, Drew adds even more to his accomplishments with his new touchdown-pass record, a number he never thought was possible for him to attain.
“I remember looking up there and thinking those are astronomical, those are impossible.” says Drew, recalling the first time he saw Dan Marino’s record stats. “How would somebody ever reach those numbers? So that part of it just makes me look back and realize how lucky I am, and how grateful I am to have this opportunity.” (From NewOrleansSaints.com)
This past Sunday, Drew exceeded his own expectations. Still as strong and hard-working as ever, he continues to lead the Saints on the field each week. What drives him to be the best that he can be, whether that be at home with his four children and wife, or on the field with the Saints, is the call he received on his 17th birthday, the call to carry on God’s Kingdom and spread the Word of Jesus Christ.
Be sure to watch Drew Brees tell his entire story in the unique 2016 Football Sunday film. Visit footballsunday.com to learn more about Football Sunday. If you’re a pastor or church leader, visit open.church to get more information about how your church can make use of this fantastic free resource.