On the cusp of breaking one of the NFL's most hallowed records, Drew Brees received an honorable showing of support from the family of the man whose mark he is trying to shatter.
In an open letter posted on his Facebook page Tuesday, Joe Unitas, son of the legendary Baltimore Colts quarterback, congratulated Brees on tying his father's record for most consecutive games with a touchdown pass (47) and assured Brees that he and his family would be rooting for the New Orleans Saints quarterback to break the record on Sunday against the San Diego Chargers.
Unitas' mark has stood for 52 years.
I wanted to take a minute to congratulate you on tying my father’s record for most consecutive games with a touchdown pass. I’ve been following your pursuit of the record since last season. I’m a big fan of yours, and wish you the best Sunday night against San Diego as you try to break the record. My father always said that records were meant to be broken. I know that if he was still with us that he would wish you the best as well.
When I look back on my father’s life I remember a man who was much bigger than the game of football. The things he would appreciate most about you have nothing to do with football; it’s about who you are as a person. You’re a role model for today’s youth, a family man, and a humanitarian who cares for his community. My father would tell you these are the important things in life, not some record in a book.
Continue to be a leader for your team and the City of New Orleans. You’re a great quarterback but even better man. Stay healthy and safe this week and in the future. My family and I will be watching Sunday night cheering for you. Best of luck.
Brees did not waste any time in thanking Unitas for his thoughtful letter.
"I started following last year because Drew had gotten closer then any other QB," Joe Unitas said of paying attention to Brees. "With the O he runs and has mastered, it was pretty obvious that he stood a good shot at breaking the record."
A feature film called Unitas We Stand, based on a best-selling biography by Tom Callahan, is in the works. Joe Unitas is one of the producers and collaborated on the screenplay.