Rick Zamperin: Manning and Brees, beacons of light in this uncertain time

There should be no debate as to whether Peyton Manning and Drew Brees are two of the best quarterbacks to ever play in the National Football League.

Where they rank on the all-time best QB list can be debated until the cows come home, but there’s no doubt that both men will be first ballot inductees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Their exploits on the gridiron are legendary and they have multiple Super Bowl titles between them and a number of NFL records to their name.

Away from the field, Manning and Brees are just as special and they each proved it this week as the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic.

Manning, a University of Tennessee alumni, joined a virtual communication studies class on Thursday — 20 years after graduating from the school — and surprised Dr. John Haas’ class.

Haas was in on the fun and the students’ reaction was epic as Manning encouraged them to “keep a positive attitude” during this difficult time.

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Just as awesome is Thursday’s announcement from Brees and his wife Brittany, who committed $5 million for coronavirus hunger relief in Louisiana, which is believed to be the next major hot spot for COVID-19 in the United States.


Brittany and I are committing $5,000,000 to the State of Louisiana in 2020. The priority now is helping our communities get through this tough time. After considerable research and conversations with local organizations, we will be mobilizing our partnerships with Second Harvest Food Bank, Ochsner Health Systems, Walk-Ons, Jimmy Johns, Smalls Sliders and Waitr to prepare and deliver over 10,000 meals per day throughout Louisiana for as long as it takes to children on meal programs, seniors, and families in need. Let’s all do our part, maintain hope, and get through this together.

A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on

The money will be used to prepare and deliver 10,000 meals per day throughout the state for “children on meals programs, seniors and families in need.”

Two incredible gestures from two amazing individuals who should be heralded as much for their off-field exploits as for what they have achieved on the field.

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