Drew Brees to Ellen DeGeneres amid coronavirus pandemic: 'The American people need sports'

Yahoo Sports

Just like millions of other Americans, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and his wife Brittany are stuck at home with a house full of kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

After kicking them outside to go play, the pair joined Ellen Degeneres on her talkshow on Wednesday to address a number of topics, including how Brees is preparing for the upcoming NFL season, the couples’ $5 million donation to help coronavirus hunger relief in Louisiana and even how homeschooling the kids is going — which hasn’t been a totally smooth process.

[ Coronavirus: How the sports world is responding to the pandemic ]

“I’ve flunked two kids already, and I might be fired for drinking on the job,” Brittany joked. “It’s not going well.”

Brees: ‘The American people need sports’

The coronavirus pandemic has paralyzed the sports world in recent weeks, and threatens to severely alter the NFL season this fall. 

President Donald Trump said last week that he wants the NFL season to start on time in September, something that many — including California Gov. Gavin Newsom — didn’t think would be possible. Others have even floated the idea of playing games in empty stadiums, a solution that Brees said he’s never even imagined before.

"From Texas high school football, through college in the Big Ten, to games now in the Superdome, you're used to those loud, electric atmospheres," Brees said. "I think it would be really weird [playing without them]. Maybe you just click in and you're in the zone.

"But I tell you where the fans really help is whenever you get hit and knocked down and you're wondering what happened, you just listen to the sound of the fans and they usually tell you whether the ball was complete or not. So that was one big benefit. Obviously, we miss out on that. But it would be really weird. I hope we're obviously beyond that, and we can get back to that level of normalcy."

Whenever things do get back to normal, Brees thinks that football can be a huge help for everyone across the country.

“I think the American people need sports right now. That’s typically something that's really brought us through a lot of tough situations throughout our country," Brees said. "I think people have been able to lean on their local sports teams or national teams to just unite them and get their minds off the challenges of daily life and daily struggle.

"We don't even have that right now, and I think that's another reason why this is so tough. And obviously we hope that football can be back to normal,  or this can be back to normal so that we can play real football."

Playing with Tom Brady

Longtime New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which will undoubtedly shakeup the NFC South. 

Brees and the Saints will square up with Brady multiple times each season now, something that will provide an added challenge for the 41-year-old.

"The division just got a little bit better, didn't it?" Brees said. "And in addition to that, Teddy Bridgewater — who played so well for us with the Saints last year when I got hurt — he's now the starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers. So our division has Teddy Bridgewater, Tom Brady, Matt Ryan and myself with the Saints.

"It's always been a very challenging division, and it just kicked up a notch."

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