Just two days after New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees rewrote NFL history, the ball he threw to do it arrived at the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday. Brees’ first touchdown throw during Sunday night’s win over the San Diego Chargers allowed him to eclipse Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas’ record of 47 consecutive games with a touchdown pass.
Photo: Hall of Fame President/Executive Director Steve Perry (right) and Hall of Fame VP Joe Horrigan survey the mementos from Drew Brees that arrived in the Ralph Wilson, Jr. Pro Football Research and Preservation Center on Tuesday morning.
Until Brees, the record had remained virtually unchallenged since Unitas had his streak that spanned from 1956 to 1960. Unitas’ string had often been referred to as the NFL’s “unbreakable record.”
Drew’s 48th consecutive game with a touchdown pass record came on a 40-yard throw to wide receiver Devery Henderson late in the first quarter of the Saints’ 31-24 win over the Chargers on Oct. 7, 2012 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Accompanying the record football is a game program, official play-by-play game book, two fan towels commemorating breast cancer awareness, and a copy of the play sheet signed by Saints Interim Head Coach Aaron Kromer, Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael and Brees, who added “48” to his autograph. The mementos were placed on exhibit inside the Hall of Fame’s Pro Football Today Gallery.
“The Pro Football Hall of Fame is pleased to be able to add this milestone football to our collection of priceless artifacts,” commented Steve Perry, President/Executive Director of the Hall of Fame. “This is certainly one of the game’s most significant records and one that for more than 50 years seemed to be simply out of reach. We sincerely appreciate Drew’s willingness to allow the Pro Football Hall of Fame to preserve and share his remarkable accomplishment with football fans now and for generations to come.”
The Hall of Fame has been informed that Brees also intends to add the football he throws for a touchdown from the final game of the streak, when that occurs.
Several other mementos from Brees’ spectacular career are already part of the Hall of Fame’s collection. His complete uniform from late last season when he set the NFL’s single-season mark for passing yards is on display in an exhibit case not far from the mementos from his most recent history-making moment. Among other artifacts from Brees' career donated to the Hall of Fame include the draft card San Diego filled out to select him as the 32nd pick of the 2001 NFL Draft, his jersey he wore on Dec. 28, 2008 when he became the NFL’s second quarterback to throw for 5,000 yards in a season; and the jersey worn during his MVP performance in Super Bowl XLIV.
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