It's baseball season so I've been thinking about baseball a lot obviously. But, of course, the Saints are always noodling around in my head, and, by extension, Drew Brees's legacy. So if we're going to draw parallels, the best place to start is comparing quarterbacks to starting pitchers. They're both (wrongfully) singularly credited with wins and losses, they both have longer than average careers, and they both throw balls for a living.
So given that, I got to thinking about which of baseball's great hurlers best parallels with our future Hall of Fame quarterback. The first name that came to mind was Nolan Ryan, an intimidating, big-armed Texan who threw more no-hitters than anyone in history but never a perfect game because he walked so many, which lines right up with Brees's gunslinging ways. However, the better parallel for Ryan is Brett Favre, because neither of those guys cared much about accuracy, neither was able to hold onto their defining records, and they both put off retirement for an embarrasingly long time.
Better for Brees, then, is the guy who broke some of Ryan's records: Randy Johnson. Setting aside the obvious fact that Randy Johnson is the tallest baseball player in history and that Drew is smaller than plenty of middle schoolers, these guys' resumes stack up nicely. Here's the case:
Johnson holds the career records for strikeouts per game in a single season and per game for his career, as does Drew for yardage (except for Matt Stafford in the latter category, but that's disqualified due to the Megatron clause).
They both won championships with their second teams (not counting the Expos).
They both overcame early skepticism as to whether they could become elite due to their unconventional appearances and approaches (Johnson with his tremendous height and sidearming pitching style, Brees with his seemingly debilitating shortness).
And they both, despite their greatness and compelling arguments in their favor, are doomed to be regarded as the second or third best of their generation (Obviously Peyton Manning is Roger Clemens and Tom Brady is Pedro Martinez).
What do y'all think? I'd be happy to see more suggestions for Drew or other quarterback-pitcher parallels in the comments below.