NEW YORK (Reuters) - New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who lifted the spirits of the hurricane-ravaged city with his charity work and its first Super Bowl title, has been named Sports Illustrated’s sportsman of the year.
“He symbolizes the people of New Orleans in many, many ways,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told the magazine (www.si.com), which honored Brees as its 57th sportsman of the year on Tuesday.
The 31-year-old quarterback sparked the Saints to the Super Bowl championship in February, a 31-17 triumph over the Indianapolis Colts that earned him most valuable player honors.
Off the field, he and his wife Brittany have raised more than $6 million through their foundation for cancer research and educational opportunities.
Much of the money has been spent in the New Orleans area as it recovered from the 2005 devastation of Hurricane Katrina.