Katrina Broke a Community’s Spirit, Then Drew Brees Rebuilt the Superdome One Yard at a Time

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Drew Brees
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 23: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints runs off the field after beating the Atlanta Falcons in overtime at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 23, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

On Monday Night Football the New Orleans Saints play the Washington Redskins in front of a national audience. All eyes will be on quarterback Drew Brees, as he will likely break the record for career passing yardage in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Brees is going to break another record. But let’s not forget the journey to his very moment on this field.

Katrina Struck First But Drew Brees Kept Moving Forward

The Superdome wasn’t always the immaculate place where fans from all over come to share memories. To this day, there are still memories that are burned into the conscience of residents of New Orleans from 2005. The dome was supposed to be the last resort for people that were trying to escape the wrath of Hurricane Katrina 13 years ago. While that may be true, the eventual outcome that played out during those days left many scarred from tragic circumstances.

While the eventual outcome was deemed successful, the carnage and terror brought people to its knees during the dark days after Katrina. Thousands streamed into the supposed unbreakable and sturdy structure. No one ever saw what was about to happen. The house that became a symbol of New Orleans turned into a haunted tale of misery.

Hell on Earth and People That Were Trapped

These were the horrific facts days after. There was so much sanitation and feces and urine that filled the dome with people trapped with their own thoughts. A mother was given two diapers and told to scrape them off when they got dirty and use them again.

There was a man that felt so strangled by the grips of the conditions that he jumped a barricade and ran to the flooded streets of New Orleans. The man had enough, after losing everything and possibly some of his relatives. National Guard Sgt. Caleb Wells had to chase him down. “He didn’t realize how bad things were out there,” Wells said. “He just broke down. He started bawling. We took him back inside.”

To put it another way, hell was inside and outside. There was no refuge anywhere. This was the Superdome 13 years ago. Fast forward 13 years and the mood is like ‘night and day.’ Saints fans have been packing the dome ever since. This week Brees will make history on Monday Night Football yet again. This time, fans get a chance to celebrate something special and a quarterback that came in, when everyone else was running away.

Drew Brees Ran Towards the Storm

Brees arrived in New Orleans when the city was still rebuilding. Little did he know, that he was going to be front and center in rebuilding a city looking for faith. Who knew that a field filled with garbage and dirty water would turn into the house that Drew built. Of course, the humility that Brees has makes no reference to him being the savior or any kind of answer to a prayer. In fact, Brees feels that New Orleans called him to come to New Orleans.

The end result proved him right. Brees brought the city of New Orleans a championship. He brought in a sense of duty to start foundations and charities that assisted the rebuilding of not just the physical structures but the unshakable presence. All the news will be talking about the career yardage record being broken on Monday. At the same time, it’s also a chance to remember how far the city has come. The methodical journey of Brees’ place in history can’t be measured in yards.

Brees believed way back when. He saw light when there was darkness. There will never be another Drew Brees. Not now not ever.

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