The image is one of the most memorable in Super Bowl postgame history.
Especially in New Orleans.
You could look past all of the confetti and tell just how special the moment was to Drew Brees on that February day in 2010.
His eyes watered and he flashed a big ole smile as he held his then-1-year-old son Baylen after the biggest game in Saints history.
A poster capturing the moment hangs on the wall in his now-7-year-old son’s room. Other copies can be seen at restaurants and in office buildings all over the city and throughout Louisiana.
The CBS announcer broadcasting Super Bowl XLIV that day described it best: “That’s what it’s all about. Drew Brees with his son. … Don’t you live for that moment right there? That is the most precious moment that a father can share with his son.”
Six years and three more kids later, it’s still those moments that the future Hall of Fame quarterback cherishes most.
It’s why Brees would be totally fine if his wife, Brittany, along with Baylen, Bowen, Callen and Rylen, didn’t spend a dime on him for Father’s Day. Those five are all the gifts he needs.
“Honestly, all I ever want on Father’s Day is quality time with my family,” Brees said. “At the end of the day, I just want to do whatever they want to do.”
But he knows he’ll end up getting something.
Brees considers himself a “sentimental guy,” so he enjoys receiving pictures as gifts.
“I love anything that creates memories with my kids,” he said.
And Brees makes plenty of time to do that, balancing his time between leading the Saints offense and leading his family.
He makes sure they know Who Dad is is just as important as Who Dat is.
“It is a team effort,” he said. “I rely so much on my wife, Brittany. She is the most wonderful mother and wife I could ever wish or hope for. Obviously my responsibility to my team, both in season and offseason, is pretty significant. A lot of the burden falls on her at times. So the moments when we can all be together are really special.”
Those moments, now that kids are getting more into sports, often turn into football games in the yard or pickup games of basketball. Or even wrestling matches — he often shares those special family moments on Twitter.
He makes it look easy, almost as simple as leading the Saints down the field for a game-winning touchdown in the final seconds. But he admits it’s not always that simple.
“Every dad has that fear right when they get home with their baby: ‘Oh my God, what do we do now?’ ” he said. “You can read whatever book you want or listen to whatever advice. All of that is good. But until you experience it for yourself, you’re always going to encounter things that you didn’t quite prepare for.”
And there are plenty of challenges, especially when a 7-year-old boy, a 5-year-old boy, a 3 year-old boy and a girl who’s about to turn 2 all want things their way.
“When all four are wanting to go a different direction or all four are having a meltdown because they are tired or hungry or whatever it is, you feel helpless,” Brees said. “It’s like the nth degree of emotions at all levels. It’s that level of emotions when it comes to joy and happiness, and it’s that level of emotions when it comes to them not listening or just having one of those days. But at the end of the day, you relish those moments.”
As they get older, they are starting to understand just how important their father is — not only to them, but to everyone else.
There was a time when they didn’t understand why people would stop their dad and want to take a picture with him or want him to write his name on something.
“I explained to them that Daddy plays football and those people really like the Saints and they are a fan of what Daddy does. And that’s a way they can remember meeting me,” Brees said. “So my kids get that now.”
While his NFL career seems to go on and on forever, he knows the amount of time his kids stay kids will fly by.
He’s 37 now, entering his 16th season in the league.
“I always tell myself as a dad, ‘They are only this age for so long, so embrace it,’ ” Brees said. “ ‘You’re going to miss it.’ ”
That’s the reason family comes before football when Brees lists his priorities in life: faith, family, football and philanthropy.
Yes, all the yards and touchdowns and trophies mean a lot to Brees. But they don’t come close to Baylen, Bowen, Callen and Rylen.
For Brees, this Father’s Day is more about them than it is about him.
“It just reminds you of what a blessing it is to be a father,” Brees said. “It is the absolute greatest thing that could ever happen to a person. For me as a dad, it will forever be my greatest responsibility as a man, to be a father to my kids.”