To say Drew Brees is a fan of Jimmy John’s is an understatement. The New Orleans Saints quarterback got his first exposure to the fast food sandwich chain while in college at Purdue University. Brees remembers ordering Jimmy John’s to his dorm room three times a week; the No. 9 (Italian Night Club) is his favorite.
After making it to the NFL, Brees was unable to get his Jimmy John’s fix when he was in San Diego playing for the Chargers from 2001-05. He couldn’t order any of their sandwiches when he arrived in New Orleans in 2006, either, until he took action into his own hands. Brees became a Jimmy John’s franchisee in 2011 and is anticipating opening his 10th store in the New Orleans area.
The Super Bowl XLIV champion and NFL’s all-time passing leader is working with the company to bring sandwiches closer to fans, literally. Jimmy John’s fans who live outside of its 2,800+ sandwich delivery zones are eligible to enter the “Home in Zone” contest where one person will win up to $250,000 towards the purchase of a home inside a Jimmy John’s delivery zone of their choosing.
While one lucky fan will win the grand prize, five other winners will be chosen to receive free sandwiches and free delivery for a year. The contest runs from August 12 to October 4, 2019.
“My kids crave Jimmy John’s like I do,” said Brees, who still orders sandwiches twice a week. “Obviously Jimmy John’s is an incredibly successful brand nationwide that has always been at the forefront in food delivery and we know that’s something that has become more and more popular now. I still believe no one does it like Jimmy John’s, not only just the speed at which we deliver but also as fresh and reliable as we do it.”
New Orleans fans have been relying Brees’ restaurants to deliver their sandwiches as much as they have been relying on the veteran quarterback to deliver victories on the football field.
The 40-year-old gunslinger guided the Saints to the NFC Championship game last season, but suffered a heartbreaking 26-23 defeat to the Los Angeles Rams on a controversial non-pass interference call; the incident spurred the NFL to change its replay rules for 2019/20.
Brees said New Orleans, which went 13-3 while winning the NFC South, has “unfinished business” this season.
“In my mind you always have something to prove, especially at the start of a season,” he said. “Only one team finished last season happy; everyone else feels like they came up short. There’s 32 teams that feel this could be their year. Everyone has retooled and feels they made improvements. You have to take it one at a time and have a great season.”
For Brees personally, that’s how he’s looking at this season and his career: one game at a time. While he’s previously expressed interest playing the NFL until he was 45, Brees knows not everything is in his hands when it comes to making that decision.
He led the NFL with a 74.4 completion percentage in 2018, while throwing for 3,992 yards and 32 touchdowns and just five interceptions. He surpassed Peyton Manning on the NFL all-time career passing yard list and sits 19 passing TDs shy of tying Manning’s career record of 539.
“I think I said five years ago I could play until I’m 45, and I still believe that,” he said. “I’m not going to take anything for granted. I’ll enjoy every second of it. You should never look too far ahead. I enjoy where I’m at right now and will stay in the moment.
“I know this, it’s not going to happen in one game, so there’s no sense in thinking about (the record) other than taking the same approach with every game and every season: each game is important, each is meaningful and eventually those things add up.”