Post-Super Bowl run has been good to Brees

Drew Brees is enjoying the perks of being the Super Bowl

MVP.

The New Orleans Saints quarterback played in a pro-am with Jack

Nicklaus. He was invited to play with Arnold Palmer but had to pass

because he was overseas on his fifth USO tour. He’s been invited to

play in a pro-am before the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

Brees will also host the Cox Communications Championship charity

golf tournament in May at Morgan Run in this upscale enclave near

San Diego, with some of the proceeds going to the Brees Dream

Foundation to fund cancer research. He was named host before

leading the Saints to their Super Bowl win against the Indianapolis

Colts.

“I really haven’t played a whole lot, not as much as I would

have liked,” Brees said during a news conference Tuesday. “But I

plan on winning my own tournament now. I’m not making any

guarantees for this year but at some point I will win my

tournament.”

Brees played in the pro-am before the Honda Classic in early

March with Nicklaus, Dan Marino and Kenny G.

“It actually went really well considering I hadn’t picked up a

golf club in seven months,” he said. “It was the most

nerve-racking thing ever. I don’t think any of us as athletes ever

get comfortable with this, especially because we are not really

golfers – we think we are – is lining up on that first tee, with

people lining the fairway and you say, ‘Just don’t hit anyone in

the head.’

“So the first tee they call Jack and he strikes one right down

the middle with his driver. Dan Marino is next and he drives it

down the middle and Kenny G, driver. I have a 3-wood in my hand

because it is really a 3-wood hole, it’s a par 4. But they all hit

drivers so that means I’ve got to hit driver and it’s not a driver

hole. My confidence level is already low but I take the driver and

strike it down the middle and I birdied 18. So it doesn’t matter

what happened in between.”

He was invited to play with Palmer at Bay Hill but was on a USO

tour to Turkey, Africa and Dubai.

“You figure those are two pretty neat opportunities, so this

Super Bowl thing has its perks,” Brees said.

Brees has kept his ties to San Diego despite being

unceremoniously dumped by the Chargers after suffering a shoulder

injury in the final game of the 2005 season.

“At the time I thought it was the worst thing that ever could

have happened to me,” Brees said. “Now I look back and say it’s

the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Brees said he’s releasing a book on July 6, called “Coming Back

Stronger: Unleashing the Hidden Power of Adversity.” He described

it as a self-help, motivational book that will touch on him joining

the Saints six months after Hurricane Katrina devastated New

Orleans, as well as his final two seasons in San Diego.

After Brees struggled in 2003, the Chargers obtained Philip

Rivers and a handful of picks for Eli Manning in a 2004 draft day

trade with the New York Giants. Brees led the Chargers to the

playoffs in 2004, but they missed the playoffs the next year and

Brees was injured in the final game. General manager A.J. Smith

kept Rivers and let Brees leave as a free agent.

Will the book have an I-told-you-so feel? “There would be too

many people to tell that to,” Brees said.

“One of the great moments of my life will be holding my son up

there on the trophy stand after the Super Bowl game,” he said.

“That is where you really reflect on the journey, and what it took

to get there and who was a part of that with you, and you try to

just be in the moment. When I was in that moment, I was sitting

there thinking about not the people that doubted me along the way

but the people that believed in me along the way. Those are the

people that deserve the credit.”

Brees also said he thinks friend and former Chargers teammate

LaDainian Tomlinson, released by San Diego in February, will do

well with the New York Jets.

“I think he ended up in a great place, probably the perfect

place for him,” Brees said. “He’s with Brian Schottenheimer,

who’s very familiar with him and his strengths, and in a very

similar system to what he ran here when he was breaking all the

records.”

Brees thinks Tomlinson has plenty left, and that going to a team

like the Jets “will kind of rejuvenate him.”

While Brees was leading the Saints on their Super Bowl run, the

Chargers imploded in a playoff loss to the Jets.

Somehow, ex-Chargers seem to find success elsewhere. Star safety

Rodney Harrison won two Super Bowl rings with New England,

linebacker Junior Seau came close with the Patriots and then Brees

led the Saints to the title.

“We all just landed in some great opportunities,” Brees

said.