It was Monday, January 14, just two weeks after the New Orleans Saints season had come to a disappointing end. Quarterback Drew Brees was at the Riverview Room, located on the New Orleans riverfront, hosting an event for Verizon.
Brees greeted fans as they arrived and kicked off an interactive adventure hunt through the French Quarter for a chance to win Super Bowl XLVII tickets.
"As disappointing as it is to not be competing in the Super Bowl when it's here, it only provides more motivation for next year," Brees told the crowd in attendance.
As much as he enjoys interacting with fans and supporting the community this event came too soon - two weeks too soon to be exact. For the first time since 2008, Brees and the Saints did not reach the playoffs. This season's ending is more disappointing as New Orleans is hosting the Super Bowl.
Asked at the event when he made the transition from city's quarterback to ambassador, Brees laughed and said "I don't know. Maybe today is the first day of that."
In 2012, Brees completed 422-of-670 passes (63.0%) for 5,177 yards with 43 touchdown passes and a 96.3 passer rating, finishing the season ranked first in the league in both passing yardage and touchdown passes. Following his 5,177 passing yard performance, Brees now owns two of the top three single-season yardage totals in NFL record books and three of the top five, as the only player to throw for 5,000 yards three times. Brees also joined Dan Marino as only the second NFL signal-caller to throw for 40 touchdowns in two seasons.
The lofty numbers and milestones mean nothing to Brees if they don't equal a trip to the postseason. In fact, when asked how he would evaluate the 2012 season he quickly responded he wouldn't because "7-9 just isn't good enough."
Thousands of people from across the country are in New Orleans this week as the Crescent City hosts hundreds of events capped off by Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Brees has appeared on numerous national and local media outlets this week promoting his foundation, corporate partners and of course all things New Orleans.
On Friday alone, he appeared on ESPN's "Mike and Mike, CBS' "The Talk," ABC's "Good Morning America" and hosted a concert at House of Blues featuring Nelly that raised money for Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts and Team Gleason.
"My mindset is reverted," said Brees. "It's going from obviously hoping that we were playing in this game, in our hometown which would have been fantastic, to now let's be the greatest hosts that we can be. That's what New Orleans is all about. That is what our city thrives on. How many events does this city host each year from the NCAA Final Four, BCS Championship game, Sugar Bowl and now the Super Bowl. Even non-sports events with Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, Voodoo Fest and all these fests that we host. That's what New Orleans does. New Orleans knows how to throw a party. We want people to come here, have a good time and want to come back here."