Even though fans decided en masse that they did not want to hear Drew Brees’ football observations on television, there are still a lot of people still wearing their No. 9 New Orleans Saints jersey that wants to know his thoughts as he watches football over the weekend.
Some athletes aren’t built for 150 seconds of total time to talk during a halftime show, or to help guide the viewers through a game during a live three-plus hour broadcast. One of the pluses of social media is that game broadcasts and studio shows aren’t the only way for athletes to communicate with fans their opinions on the sport in which they are experts.
So Brees sat in front of his television on Saturday to watch a game that had social media buzzing: Alabama at Texas. The Tide were 21-point favorites on the road against the unranked Longhorns, and the game turned out to be one of the best of the weekend. Alabama won thanks to a masterful last drive led by Bryce Young that was capped by a game-winning field goal.
However, Texas’ offense was hampered early in the first half. Longhorn QB Quinn Ewers — the No. 1 overall football recruit in 2021 — took a hit and had to leave the game after injuring his non-throwing shoulder. Brees must have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express on Friday night, because he thought that injury was just a matter of playing through pain.
That’s right. Take some high-strength pain-killing medication at 19 years old, wrap up the unnecessary shoulder that’s just there to make you look better in pads, and get back out there. Young buck, you’ve got a chance to beat ‘Bama.
I don’t doubt that’s the way Brees would’ve approached the situation if he suffered an AC joint separation in his non-throwing shoulder in a 2000 game against Michigan while he was at Purdue. But that’s not the behavior we’re supposed to be encouraging these days. Especially as Texas has its own television network (via ESPN), is about to receive some large direct deposits when it moves to the SEC, and Ewers isn’t going to see a dime. Also, ask Baker Mayfield how playing through the injury worked out for him with the Cleveland Browns last season.
First, however, direct any questions you have about Ewers to the Texas medical staff because they have some valuable information. Ewers’ injury is not in his AC joint, it’s his SC joint. Yes, Mayfield went through a lot of pain with the AC joint, but it is the less severe of the two injuries. The AC joint is where the collar bone connects to part of the shoulder blade. The SC joint is where the collar bone connects to the sternum — hence the full name, sternoclavicular.
ESPN’s Pete Thamel is reporting that Ewers is currently having trouble breathing and swallowing. He is going to be out of the lineup for the next 4-6 weeks.
Being that he took a picture of his television when giving his diagnosis, it’s safe to assume that Dr. Brees didn’t participate in the locker room examination of Ewers. Even if he was at Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday, he would not have been invited to participate in the examination because, at best, he is as much of a doctor as Dr. J and Dr. House.
Brees did qualify what he posted with an “if it’s an AC joint separation,” but the spirit of what he was saying was in poor taste. It’s football, and there are only so many games. With sports in general, but especially football, participation requires knowing the difference between being hurt and being injured. If you don’t want to participate while sore, you shouldn’t play, but that’s not what Brees was communicating.
He wanted that young man to take medicine to dull the pain of an actual injury until after the game and strap himself into a restrictive harness. It’s that type of thinking that has led to so many older football players having physical and even mental disabilities after their careers. Brees is still carrying the old mentality with him, and he needs to drop it off and never pick it up again.