THE ICON: Drew Brees
THE LEGACY: It all came down to timing. Drew Brees was coming off a major shoulder injury and needed a city to believe in him. New Orleans was on its knees after Hurricane Katrina and needed a champion. By signing a contract with the Saints in 2006, Brees showed a world still wondering whether New Orleans was worth saving that he believed, and in turn, he helped New Orleanians believe in ourselves again. Three football seasons later, the 2009 Saints – led by Brees and head coach Sean Payton – gave the city a once-unthinkable gift: a Super Bowl championship. Nine years later, Brees – the face of the franchise and a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer in waiting – continues to create moments Saints fans will be cheering long after his playing days end.
THE ARTIST: Sean Randall, WhereYart.net
THE INSPIRATION: “Really, what it came down to was who I felt like believed in me the most. I really got a great feeling from the Saints organization and the head coach. And I really felt like I have the opportunity to do something great here.” – Drew Brees, in an interview with The Times-Picayune after signing with the New Orleans Saints on March 14, 2006