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."