Overheard on Monday night's "Brain Games": "Drew Brees can track pandas like nobody's business."
If you didn't catch the National Geographic Channel show about what goes on between humans' ears guest-starring the New Orleans Saints quarterback and NFL legend, let's go to some highlights:
- Panda Shuffle — Ten men are dressed in full panda costumes; three reveal their blue headbands before placing their panda heads back on. As all the pandas scamper about, the Super Bowl champ was tasked with keeping track of the three aforementioned pandas, and be able to point them out when they eventually came to a stop. (Two out of three ain't bad, and getting the third correct on a second try, even better).
- Draft Day — Two numbered football jerseys encased in glass hang from each of two football goal mini-posts. Brees was challenged to throw footballs at the higher number red jersey and the lower number blue jersey, breaking its glass in the process. While it took host Keegan-Michael Key seven tries to crack one glass, Brees aced the challenge the first time on each jersey, clocking in at just 4.4 seconds. With a third set of jerseys added, Brees finished in 9.8 seconds. "This is the toughest thing anyone's been asked to do on 'Brain Games,'" Key told a grinning Brees.
- Master mentalist Lior Suchard correctly predicted which of seven available targets Brees would hit in five separate football throws. Suchard wrote the number on a tablet behind Brees' head before each throw.
"What does an NFL quarterback have to have up here to succeed?" Key asked Brees at the beginning of the show, pointing to his head.
"You have to really order the chaos that is going on around you, right?" Brees said. "There's all kinds of craziness, you've got free rushers, you've got things that are breaking down. At the end of the day, how can you make quick decisions that are very good decisions, that avoid mistakes and keep you moving the ball down the field to go score points."
Topics covered through the experiments included cognitive flexibility, mental reps, anticipation by way of mirror neurons and intentional blink. A human performance expert also weighed in.
In addition, Brees completed the usual trio of weekly mini-challenges tackled or to be attempted this season by celebs including Kristen Bell and hubby Dax Shepard, Anthony Anderson, Mark Cuban and Rebel Wilson, among others. How'd the NFL record-holder do on these?
You'll have to check it out yourself. And, there's a cool finger trick to open the show as well.
Spoiler alert: He aced that, too, that Drew!
"The entire experience was awesome," Brees said at episode's end. "I feel like I learned a lot today."