Yesterday we, the Who Dat Nation, held our collective breath. For about 4 hours. Drew Brees was up next on ESPN! To talk about contract stuff!!!! OmG!! We’ll never get those 4 hours back, because it was all for squat. He was having a press conference to promote his celebrity golf tournament next month. After hours of delays, we got the clip. “Yes, we’re working diligently on a long-term contract that we hope can get done sooner than later, and in the meantime, I just got a few grand for tricking you all into watching ESPN for the entire afternoon.”
Disclaimer: That might not have been an exact quote.
Now look, I don’t have anything against Drew Brees. He’s my hero too. This contract stuff is just business, it’s a little unprecedented, and it takes time. I get that, and I’m not angry (not about that, anyway).
What impresses me is that a human being can be quite this oblivious to the suspense he’s putting a million people through every day as he trudges through his normal millionaire superstar life. Each and every press conference or TV appearance by Brees contains three elements:
1. Something gets promoted. A charity, a product, or an event.
2. The interviewer asks him about his contract.
3. Drew answers with a hint of annoyance and always, always the phrase “sooner than later.”
First, Drew, the phrase is “sooner, rather than later”. Everything’s sooner than later. Next year’s Superbowl is sooner than later. The year 3000 is sooner than later. The end of time itself is sooner than later, even if later doesn’t exist – because later is always later than the thing it’s later than. Get that? Ok.
Second, stop looking so damn annoyed and surprised by a question about, oh, the most important damn thing in the Universe for Saints fans right now. You should open every appearance and every interview with a statement about the negotiations, even if you don’t say anything meaningful. Everyone everywhere will ask, and you should expect that by now. You walk into a store to get a cup of coffee, just tell the guy you’re working on it. He wants to know, even if he hasn’t asked yet. Get it out of the way.
Why? Because your contract is now potentially the source of the greatest news possible in an offseason that has been riddled with bad news. A contract announcement would make every Who Dat’s day better, hell, his week, his entire offseason. (Or hers…don’t get your panties in a wad.) And yet, every day without that announcement brings us closer to calamity, to the day the franchise starts falling apart, to the moment we have to realize it really was too good to be true, that it was bound to end eventually, and tragically at that. That’s the mind of a Saints fan, unfortunately.
He conducts himself at every public showing as if he really doesn’t understand that millions of people are hanging on his every word, waiting on that big announcement. His body language, his voice, his statements all add up to one thing: that Dick’s Sporting goods or whatever he’s peddling today takes precedence over the most important issue to us, the self-entitled Saints fan who actually thinks Drew Brees is supposed to love and cherish and nourish his fanhood.
Does any Saints fan really care about his golf tournament right now? Really? Yeah, right. We’re all sitting at home talking about whether Tony Romo can win it two years in a row. No, you just want to hear those magic words: “I signed a contract.” That’s it. And at the risk of sounding too harsh, that’s the only thing I care to hear from Drew Brees right now – everything else that comes out of his mouth is entirely insignificant and pointless until I hear him utter those words.
And he’s just totally fucking clueless that this is all anyone wants to hear about. Just check out his twitter account. That’s good for a few giggles. The franchise tag was applied in early March – about five weeks ago, roughly. Let’s take a look at the Drew Brees Twitter account since March 1 (when the deadline was closing in).
He talks about contracts of any kind exactly twice – one concerning his boy Marques Colston, the other Chase Daniel.
He makes two statements about the “bounty” situation, both playing the role of, you guessed it, the oblivious bystander. “I want an explanation! :stomp:”
The following topics were discussed more than his role with the Saints, his contract negotiations, his desire to get back on the field, or even his workout regimen or conditioning program (which every football player on twitter talks about this time of year, if you’re reading this in 1995): Dick’s Sporting Goods, The Biggest Loser, Michelle Obama, NCAA Basketball, Jimmy John’s, Baylen, Leno, Ellen, Meatloaf, zebras – yes, that’s right, he talked more about some goddamn Autobon zebras than about football – bullies, Brad Pitt, Chase Bank, life before DVR, Madden, Bowen, Channing Tatum, School lunches, commercials for commercials for MLB ’12, Whole Foods, and Cox Sports.
The level of inanity is absurd. And it’s twitter – it’s supposed to be inane. I can’t quite figure it out. Is he truly oblivious, or is he messing with us? He can’t be that far gone that he doesn’t realize his fans are waiting on the edges of their seats, chewing through their fingernails and waiting on Sportscenter to JUST SHOW THE CLIP!, consciously abandoning all reason in hopes that this is the day the big news breaks.
(Come on, it will break on twitter. If any sportscaster managed to break this news, not on twitter, he will immediately have a gazillion twitter followers, and then all other news he ever breaks will be on twitter. Pretty unlikely that the guy breaking the Brees contract signing is the one media hack in the universe who hasn’t heard of twitter and isn’t already staring blankly at a screen retweeting links to his own articles. I mean, this is a market where our reporters actually retweet articles from the Onion, as if to prove “hey, there’s someone out there who is a bigger joke than us!” They do it on purpose, douchebag.)
Maybe Drew really does get it, and just doesn’t care. Maybe he’s trolling us all, just as Loomis and Payton have done for years. Maybe he thinks twitter is supposed to be a commercial machine and doesn’t realize that athletes actually use it to communicate good news to fans from time to time.
Maybe one of you can explain to me the reason behind Drew Brees’s semmingly effortless obliviousness. It’ll have to wait, though – I think something just came across the ticker. It said “Drew Brees signs contract,” but I’m not sure if they’re referring to the Saints or Nyquil. See you in a few hours. I’ll be the guy looking pissed that I wasted my whole day waiting for good news.
Breaking: At 10:42 on April 12, Baylen sang along with Kenny Chesney’s “Beer in Mexico”. I am told that Kenny Chesney is a singer who wants to be Jimmy Buffett, and that he indeed sings songs about beers in Mexico. I’m still skeptical. I will keep you updated on this still-developing story.