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Drew Brees' Story of Overcoming Adversity

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 9, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And joining us now is Drew Brees. "Coming Back Stronger: Unleashing the Hidden Power of Adversity."

It is such a wonderful story. Your whole life is a great — you have a lot of adversity. But you have a great message in this book. When you got to that moment — I know everyone is asking you about it, your son...

DREW BREES, NFL STAR: That was — that was special. That will always be one of the greatest moments of my life. I always dreamed about being a Super Bowl champion and holding up that Vince Lombardi trophy. Little did I know that I would have my one-year-old son there with me to hold up, as well. And that — it was so special to reflect back on not only just the season but the last four years in New Orleans and all we've been through together.

HANNITY: You're really involved in the community, do a lot of charity work. Five million dollars, I think, is what you've raised for different charities that you work with. You walk around town, everyone loves you there.

BREES: I'm just a New Orleanian.

HANNITY: Just a New Orleanian. I love the book from the speculative, a lot of people think things are easy in life. I think it is tough for everybody no matter what do.

BREES: It is.

HANNITY: You talk about a lot of adversity and though you have now achieved great things. You had a lot of bumps in the road along the way.

BREES: I think anybody who's achieved some level of success has had their fair share of adversity along the way. And in the end, it's that adversity that has created the opportunity for them to be successful. It has molded them, strengthened them and really given them the opportunity to achieve something that maybe they thought was never possible before.

HANNITY: Now you've also hit some tough times in your life. You grew up in a pretty athletic family. And later on in your life, you had this incident with your mom that you talk about. I've read that and I was thinking that's — that's painful.

BREES: It is. Not only the strain in that relationship, but certainly the circumstances surrounding her passing back in August of 2009. And you know the toll that took on our family.

And you know, the reason that I put that in the book or wanted to talk about it was, No. 1, it was very, I think, therapeutic for me to be able to finally open up about it, because it's something that is very personal and private. And yet, I feel like there's so many people that do face that kind of thing, whether it be a family member, or a friend or just the death of a loved one in general and the pain that you feel because of that. And...

HANNITY: And she took her own life?

BREES: ... the anger and guilt. Yes. And I hope that that can help people. You know, really everything in this book is about hopefully providing somebody with the knowledge that can help them.

HANNITY: I read that, especially through the prism of two other incidents that happened in your life. When your father told you and your brother, who you're very close to, that they were getting a divorce. Obviously, you were both, what, 7 and 5, I think, at the time.

BREES: Yes.

HANNITY: That being difficult. And then your mom — there was a story about your mom in the book when you were playing football. This was high school. And you told her, "I want to quit."

BREES: Yes. I came home after a two-day practice my sophomore year. I was on JV. I was the back-up. The quarterback in front of me was — his older brother was the varsity quarterback. He was the heir apparent to be the starter. And I just thought, "I'm never going to see the field. Why am I wasting my time. I'm more of a baseball player anyway."

HANNITY: Yes.

BREES: And my mom said you just never know when your opportunity will come.

HANNITY: It came right thereafter.

BREES: It came the next week. The lesson there is there's a lot of people that feel like they're working hard; they're doing the right things. And yet they don't see the light at the end of the tunnel. They don't feel like they're ever going to get the opportunity. But if you do things the right way long enough, good things will happen to you.

HANNITY: You — you tell this story. In that case, when you were in high school, you got your opportunity, in part, because somebody tore their ACL.

BREES: Yes. It was that incident.

HANNITY: That was that incident.

BREES: Yes.

HANNITY: And you tore your ACL in 19 — what '95. OK, and were you out for?

BREES: I was out for six months. I missed the baseball season. I missed the summer. And here I am, going into my senior season now, not getting recruited by anyone.

The letters stopped coming in. People stopped calling. And I thought, you know, I'm going to play football because I love it but really, my sights are set on the baseball season my senior year. We ended up going 16-0 winning the state championship. The only two schools that called me were Purdue and Kentucky. They said, "Hey, we're throwing together a recruiting class, you want to come play for one of us?" Those were my only opportunities.

HANNITY: You also tell the story one proud moment your brother played in Omaha in the College World Series which were you were very proud of. Your faith is obviously very important to you. It is in my life too, I would be lost without it. I'm very open about it. But I kind of liked the line that you used in your book where you talk about the light going on.

And you go to church and half the time you are like most of us, you weren't paying that much attention. Whoever this pastor was used the line "a few good men." That means what to you?

BREES: He was saying that God is looking for a few good men to carry the torch for Christianity and live the life that Jesus lived. Are you one of those few good men? And I felt, you know, I could be one of those few good men. That's what I wanted to be.

HANNITY: And that changed your life.

BREES: It did.

HANNITY: Because here's what I see, and I interviewed a lot of sports stars over the years and some that have gotten themselves into trouble. At every game there are women waiting in hotel rooms for the team. They're — they're waiting outside the locker room. They're waiting there when you get there. There's a lot of temptation for guys. You see it, right?

BREES: Sure.

HANNITY: You ever talk to some of your fellow players about it?

BREES: Well, yes. I mean, there's a lot of young guys, certainly in our league and that — those distractions are there. Those temptations are there. And I think, you know, there's a lot of — certainly, if you're strong in your faith you resist those things.

HANNITY: And you share that with them?

BREES: Yes, absolutely.

HANNITY: And how do they — how do they — you find they respond? Because I mean, all of a sudden, you're making all this money, praise, adulation, crowds. Ninety thousand people cheering your name.

BREES: You know, some — some guys are young and single, and they're going to do what they're going to do. But you know, the fact of the matter is, you try to influence them, and the best way you can, and the biggest thing you can do is just lead by example. They see the way that you lead your life, and they respect that and, hopefully, that rubs off on them.

HANNITY: Honestly, you really give me hope in terms of here's a guy you've given so much back to your community, and — and you have such a positive message, a positive influence. And I wish you Gods speed in all that you're doing. Have a great season next year, too. And go Giants.

BREES: Are you going to bet on us next time?

HANNITY: I'm kidding. It was a joke. It was a joke. I lost my shirt last time.

All right. Thanks for being with us.

BREES: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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