Monday is the sixth anniversary of one of the biggest moments in NFC South history. It was an event that had implications off the field and on it.
It’s been six years since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. The city has come back strong and no one should underestimate the role the Saints played in that. They’re more popular now and have had more success in recent years than they did in their entire history before the storm.
It’s no coincidence that quarterback Drew Brees arrived a few months after the storm and has done as much as anyone to help the city recover. Brees signed as a free agent with the Saints in 2006, just a few months after Katrina.
At the time, New Orleans wasn’t an attractive place for free agents and there was some doubt the Saints would stay in Louisiana. But Brees has said many times that he felt a calling during his visit and that’s a big part of the reason why he joined the Saints.
Brees has been an activist in the community, but his mere presence on the Saints has done a lot to help New Orleans to recover. In the aftermath of the disaster, the Saints became a rallying point for the entire region.
Brees took the Saints to the playoffs his first year and the Saints won the Super Bowl in the 2009 season. All that helped provide a diversion from the misery of the storm and its aftermath.
"Obviously in so many ways New Orleans has come back better - while in one moment you say, 'Look how far we've come,' you also have to say, 'What's still left to do?,'" Brees told the media. "And I think that's definitely motivation for all of us just to continue on. It's gone by fast. That's where you just have to say, 'Life does go by fast. And so let's take advantage of every opportunity we have and improve our place to live.’’