ThePostGame recently caught up with the quarterback of the New Orleans Saints and one of the unofficial hosts of Super Bowl XLVII.
ThePostGame: What were your expectations going in, and how has this week compared to what you thought it might be like?
DREW BREES: I knew this week would be busy. I've spent a lot of time at the media center and over at the NFL Experience. We’ve got a lot of corporate relations gigs that we’ve been taking advantage of as well as a big foundation party on Friday night that we've been planning for. It's a charity concert featuring Nelly and D.J. Swizz Beatz that will raise money for Hurricane Sandy. Our foundation has committed $1 million to benefit organizations in the northeast that are trying to recover from Hurricane Sandy devastation.
And really just playing host. This is our town. We want to showcase it the best we can. It's truly been a great week thus far. The weather’s been fantastic, the city's alive and people are starting to filter into town and it looks like everybody’s having a great time. The restaurants and the live music spots are hopping and ready to roll.
TPG: Congrats on another Pro Bowl season. I've read that one of the stains that you'd like to save is the lei stain from your Pro Bowl jersey. What's special to you about that mark, and what is the "Save it! or Wash it in Tide?" campaign about?
BREES: First of all, Tide has been just a great family brand, one that we’ve always trusted. Especially with three little kids, you can imagine the amount of wash that we end up doing with those three little guys. Whether it's the finger-painting stains or the juice stains or the cheese cracker stains or the mud and the dirt and the grass stains, we're pretty busy.
Tide has a campaign during the Super Bowl, which is really trying to spark the debate as to, “Save it!" or "Wash in Tide?” campaign. Just the thought that everybody has those nostalgic items, like the jersey that you wore in a game or a costume that you wore that you can’t bring yourself to wash. For whatever reason it's got that sentimental value. What is it that you have that you would save or wash in Tide?
I have my Pro Bowl jersey that I still haven’t washed. I always just pack it in my bag right after the game so nobody takes it. My wife and I have a jersey that my son Baylen wore in a Pampers commercial back when he was not quite 1. Right before we made our Super Bowl run in 2009 we did a Pampers Super Bowl commercial in the Superdome. He was rolling around in his jersey and it was so cute. We haven’t washed it yet.
TPG: A lot of people have different thoughts about what should happen with the Pro Bowl and how the league can improve it. If you were in charge, what would you do with the game?
BREES: I would keep it in Hawaii forever. First of all, if you look at the ratings right now, it gets more viewership than the World Series. So the viewership is pretty strong.
It's great for the state of Hawaii and the fans there. They don't have a professional sports team, but they’re huge football fans. So whenever we go out there, it's always a very warm welcome. They love having the players out there, they love having the game out there. They take great pride in it, it's great for their economy. And it's great for the fan base out there.
And also the reward and the honor of being a Pro Bowl player is significant. I think guys take a great sense of responsibility when we go out there, experience that and play the game and represent the game the way we should. And make sure that it's the quality that we want to represent. I think all in all, it’s just one of those traditions that should remain.
TPG: On the whole it was a frustrating season for you, your teammates and Saints fans. But now that things are beginning to return to normal, how do you look back at this past year, and what’s your mindset moving forward?
BREES: There are a lot of things that we can take from this last year in regards to what we learned. I think that there are things that maybe we don't even appreciate right now that we can draw upon later on or that maybe we won’t fully realize until we get down the road a little ways.
But there are certainly ways that we can benefit. I think that's the way you have to look at it. There's nothing we can change. We're not going to make any excuses. The season didn’t go the way that we wanted, but we still have, in my opinion, all the pieces in place to really make a strong run next year and for a long time. What we need to focus on is the future.
Three years ago you were starting your first Super Bowl. Both guys this year are in that same position. What's your advice for a quarterback starting his first Super Bowl?
BREES: Embrace the moment. Embrace the opportunities throughout the week and just enjoy it as much as you can.
There's a lot of things about the week that are kind of a pain. You've got a media frenzy, so you're responsible to do quite a lot of media obligations and such. The microscope is kind of on you. The city is crazy and you can't roll up places without getting mobbed.
I think the big thing is just establish a routine for the week, because you're in a different place. Establish that routine, where you can go to get away and relax and clear your mind but also study and focus. And just embrace it. Embrace the opportunity to talk to the rest of your team, to talk about the journey that it took to get there and how excited you are to be in that situation.
TPG: Where will you be watching?
BREES: I'll be watching from home. I won't be at the game or anything. We usually just kind of hunker down and watch the game in a nice, quiet place.
TPG: Lastly and most importantly, what will you be eating this weekend?
BREES: [laughs] That’s a good question. I'll usually grill out. I might grill some burgers or something like that. And just kind of chase the kids around and try to watch as much of the game as I can.
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