Drew Brees is the farmer in the dell?

Drew Brees broke Dan Marino’s 27-year-old single-season passing record last night with a game and a quarter to spare. This morning, ESPN.com lead with “[The] Brees Stands Alone.” Hi-ho the dairy-o. In the words of Horatio Sanz (as Joe Bouchard), what does that mean?

With the obvious allusion to “The Farmer in the Dell,” one would assume that Brees, the new record-holder, would play the role of the farmer, but that only leads to more questions. When “the farmer takes a wife,” is that a reference to Brees breaking the record and making Marino his wife? (If so, I’d hate to read the feminist critique, as authored by Marino.)

I’m no Aesop, but I have written about the overlap between sports and folk songs before, and I think that this means what it says: Brees is the cheese.

Fine, but what’s the cheese? Simple. The cheese is an obvious reference to Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who, before Green Bay lost its first game of the season last week, was the unquestionable choice for league MVP. All of that is up for grabs now, though, because the Packers lost to the Chiefs and Brees seized maybe the most important passing record in the NFL. And Brees is no Case Keenum. His Saints are 12-3 and have to be considered one of the favorites to win it all. If Rodgers is the cheese, and ESPN wrote that “[The] Brees Stands Alone,” what they plainly mean is that Brees has supplanted Rodgers and stands alone as the best quarterback in the NFL.

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