Saints honor Brees in first half of Thanksgiving Night game
New Orleans Retired quarterback Drew Bryce finally got a goodbye from a packed and boisterous Superdome.
With Brees calling a Thursday night game between New Orleans and Buffalo as part of the NBC broadcast team, the franchise chose to honor Brees on the field at halftime.
With Southern University’s band spelling “Brees #9” in the field, a montage of memorable moments from Brees’ career was shown on Superdome video panels before Saints owner Galele Benson Brees performed. Cheers erupted, soon followed by long shouts of “Dew!”
“We’ve had so many incredible moments in the field and in this city,” Bryce said. “Thank you so much for loving us, thank you for embracing me and my family. We will always love you and always work to make you proud.”
Bryce then raised his fist in the air as he urged the crowd to shake off the traditional chant “Who Dat, who Dat, who said he would defeat them saints!”
“Greatest fan in the world, let’s blow the top off this dome and make the world feel and hear it,” Bryce said, lowering his arm, beginning the cheer.
Then the crowd cheered as Bryce walked off the field to get back to work.
Bryce, who played 20 seasons in the NFL and his last 15 in New Orleans, played his last season before mostly scattered crowds as the NFL operated under COVID-19 protocols that significantly restrict the size of gatherings in stadiums.
He retired last season for being the all-time NFL captain in passing yards with 80,358, but has since been lost this season by Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady.
The Breeze 571’s career drop passed second place behind the Brady 610.
Bryce, who began his career with the San Diego Chargers in 2001, came to New Orleans at a time when the city was still dealing with the widespread devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. In his first season, the Saints—who’ gone 3-13 In 2005 – improved to 10-6 and progressed to the franchise’s first NFC title game.
This was the first of nine seasons in which Bryce led the Saints to the playoffs, in which the team won one Super Bowl and advanced three times to the NFC Championship game.
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