The Lost Art of Humility

The Lost Art of Humility

I’m kind of ashamed to admit this but I’m a Drew Brees fan.  Not sure I want to be but I guess I can’t help myself – the Saints after all are my Carolina Panthers vaunted enemy in the NFC South and I fervently pull against them every time they take the field – because they’re good and they whipped my team 3 times last year.


So I want them to lose – emphatically.


But I still like Drew Brees.


Maybe I’m just old school – and still harbor memories of when sports stars, politicians, business leaders, entertainers, and the guy who works at the garage down the street actually were capable of some level of humility.


It’s a dying attribute I fear.


The “look at me” wave is growing – and many of our role models are at the forefront, preening at the camera while they simultaneously shift their gaze to the mirror in front of them.


I watched Sports Highlights on Sunday night – caught the UFC brawl, the self-congratulatory parade of various athletes from the NFL and baseball, listened to one narcissist wax on about his contributions while deriding his teammates, and finally switched stations to check out world news.


Big mistake.


I’m not sure what offended most – the self-indulgent leaders in love with their own voices or the unctuous “reporters” who either praised their every move or screamed criticism at the top of their lungs – depending on their affiliation. Media sycophants who continue to perfect their art – uproariously biased on both sides.


Sort of like professional wrestling but without the well-choreographed scripts.


What happened to civil discourse? My guess is that it’s on the same slow rowboat to oblivion as humility – and we can probably toss common decency on the scrapheap too.


Maybe this decline has been going on for years and I just missed it.


Which takes me back to last night – and the short respite offered when I watched Mr. Brees become the all-time NFL passing yardage leader – surpassing legends of the game.


Undersized and woefully dismissed when he came out of Purdue with passing numbers that astonished.


“Too small.”


“Too slow.”


“The game will devour him.”


They had it wrong. It was Drew who consumed – the critics, the assumptions of what constituted the ideal QB, the naysayers who pointed to his shoulder injury 10 plus years ago and said, “I told you so.”


Brees beat them all with a quiet dignity and grace that reminded me of why I’ve always liked the guy – even though I haven’t always wanted to.


His soft-spoken mantra – I don’t need your affirmations. I can stand on my own. I know who I am.  And I’m NOT going to shout it from the rooftops.


When that touchdown pass at the end of the first half put him forever in the record books I watched him hug his left tackle and then every other member of his team while the crowd roared.


No dances. No waves. No “look at me.”


He calmly took the ball and the certificate from the official, trotted to the sidelines where he presented the former to the president of the NFL Hall of Fame, and then hugged his family.


The message he whispered to his sons, “You can accomplish anything in life if you’re willing to work for it.”




Then he grabbed his coach and said, “Let’s win this thing.”


Back to business.


Thanks Drew. Sometimes I forget that humility and civility still reside out there.


You helped me remember.


Oh yeah – one more thing.


Go Panthers.





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