While growing up in Texas, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees didn’t begin
playing tackle football until his freshman year of high school. Instead, the record-setting quarterback played flag football. Playing that sport at an early age probably didn’t hurt him in becoming one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history.
Now that Brees has kids of his own, he told ESPN.com’s Mike Triplett in an interview that he wants to transfer his love of the game to them in the safer version he played. Brees’ oldest son, Baylen, started playing flag football last year at age 7, and his second son, Bowen, started playing this year at age 6.
Brees said in the story that he wouldn’t let his kids play tackle football at their current ages but believes they can learn to play properly with flag football. He said that he thinks kids can play competitive games, learn life lessons and have fun without the risks of playing tackle football.
The article said that Brees is partnering with longtime friend and marketing agent Chris Stuart to start a co-ed youth flag-football league. The two told Triplett that they came up with the idea after coaching their sons’ flag-football team in San Diego the last two years.
The former University of Purdue star is starting up Football ‘N’ America League with Stuart. The league will kickoff off this fall in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Covington, La., and will branch out to other states next year.
Triplett said that Brees hopes at some point the league will spread nation wide as a safer alternative to tackle football.
They said the plan is for the league to play games on Thursday or Friday nights.
Registration for the new league begins on June 30 for six-on-six leagues, which will be open to kindergartners through sixth-graders. The league will run in partnership with ProCamps, and Brees will help coaches in the league with providing personal instructional video tutorials, and starter playbooks for coaches and league commissioners.
Brees has a long history of community service and was named NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year back in 2006. In the article, the quarterback said that he believes his league could be the future of football and save the sport.