Brees wants to bury bounty probe, help New Orleans
Brees' stops Wednesday included a talk with area high school kids about the importance of managing one's money. He even revealed that he graduated Purdue with an unpaid $2,000 mobile phone bill, and later regretted it when it damaged his credit score and pushed up the interest rate he had to pay on the first house he bought in San Diego, shortly after being drafted by the Chargers in 2001.
Later, he hosted a news conference in which his foundation donated $1 million to businesses teaming up with charities in the metro area. He also made several radio appearances and lent his support to an event hosted by former Saints special teams standout Steve Gleason, who has the debilitating and incurable neuro-muscular disease ALS.
As an organization, the Saints' approach has mirrored that of their quarterback. Owner Tom Benson spoke at an NFL event promoting the importance of children doing more physical activity on Wednesday. He has invited Goodell to the team party in New Orleans' City Park on Thursday night, and he will attend Goodell's main media event Friday and has even invited the commissioner to watch the game from his suite in the Superdome.
"We're making this the best Super Bowl ever and what that means is we're going to get another Super Bowl to come back in a few years," said Benson with a nod to the city's intent to bid on the 2018 Super Bowl. "We've rolled out the red carpet for everybody."
Frank Supovitz, the NFL's vice president for events, called the Saints "outstanding hosts."
"We've been working on the Super Bowl together with the Saints the last three years. ... The level of partnership has never wavered for a moment," he said. "The NFL and Super Bowl have had a long and deep relationship with the city and with the team and one of the pleasures of my career has been working with the team on the reopening of the dome (after Katrina). We've been very, very close partners with the city and the team and I don't expect that to change."
Dennis Lauscha, who serves as the president of both the Saints and NBA's Hornets — which Benson bought last spring — scoffed at the idea that any animosity lingered between the Saints and the league.
"What we're absolutely concerned about is making sure we put on the best possible show and make a great bid on the next one. We want to put our best foot forward," Lauscha said. "No question we wanted to be the first team to host and play on our own field in the same year. We had an unbelievable experience down in Miami when we won the Super Bowl and we kept on saying how great it would be if we could do that back in New Orleans for our fans, so there is a bit of disappointment in that, but look, we're looking forward to next year and winning the Super Bowl in New York."
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