Brooks reflects on polarizing perception

It took several years for former New Orleans Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks to be inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame, since his career was filled with so many highs and lows.

He led the Saints to their first-ever playoff victory in 2000 and posted some of the best numbers in franchise history during his six-year run as a starter. But he also was one of the most polarizing figures in franchise history because of his inconsistency, questions about his leadership ability and a perceived lackadaisical attitude.

I thought it was great to see how much the honor meant to Brooks, when he got emotional during his acceptance speech earlier this week. And I was equally fascinated to hear Brooks really reflect back on those years for the first time this week in a great article by The Times-Picayune’s Katherine Terrell.

"It brought on so much criticism that it almost allowed people and individuals to take my happiness away from me," Brooks said. "So then I became somewhat of a very, very even-keeled individual. ... There was no way it was going to come out in a positive light so I chose not to even speak on it. …

"I don't want to mistake the challenging times over the great times because we had a lot of great times and accomplished a lot of great stuff. It's just fulfilling to know that all of those things [meant something]. At times it's very difficult to speak on it and talk about it."