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Drew Brees apologizes to fans

3/11/2011

In the three seasons I’ve been covering the NFC South, one recurring theme I’ve noticed is that New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees always is going to say and do the right thing.

Doesn’t matter if it’s throwing a key touchdown pass on the field or sharing his wisdom with the media. Brees has grace and incredible timing.

That perhaps never was more evident than Friday morning, when Brees sent out a lengthy message on Twitter about the NFL’s labor situation, which, at least at the moment, does not appear to be headed in a good direction. I’ll just include one sentence from Brees here because it says it all.

“I’m very sorry that you as fans have to endure this,’’ Brees wrote.

Sure, Brees is involved in the talks and there’s no doubt he’s looking out for his own best interests and those of other players. But Brees at least has the courtesy to think about the fans at a time when other players, owners and officials from the players’ union and the league don’t really seem to care.

The fans are the immediate victims if this thing goes badly. But I’m starting to wonder how the tables will turn in the long run. I just ran an errand and listened to a few minutes of Adam Schein and Rich Gannon on Sirius NFL Radio. They brought up an excellent point when both of them said they think both sides might be underestimating the fans and the real-world economy.

If there is a lockout, the world’s going to keep going on. If it lasts into the regular season, people will find other interests. If the lockout goes on for a very long time, some fans are going to forget about football and they’ll have a sour taste when it does come back.

At the very least, Brees was proactive with his apology. Down the road, there might be a lot more players, owners, league officials and union officials apologizing. It might be even more than that. They might have to beg the fans to come back.