The untold truth of Drew Brees' wife

When Brittany Brees (née Dudchenko) met Drew Brees while they were both attending Purdue University in Indiana, it was love at first sight … for Drew. But for Brittany? Not so much. In fact, Drew bombed their very first meeting, but he would eventually have a chance to prove himself to her some months later, and he was victorious. They got married in Coronado, Calif. in 2003, Brittany told CBS News, and, as of this writing, they share four children together, Rylen, Baylen, Bowen, and Callen Brees.

With Drew being a veteran quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, he obviously commands attention on and off the field for being the Super Bowl-winning star that he is. But we think Brittany deserves some shine, too. She's the one who holds down the fort when he's busy tossing around the pigskin, making big decisions for their family with and without Drew's input. More on that in a bit.

As a woman who wears many hats, Brittany runs their Dream Foundation full-time, all while instilling some good old-fashioned values in her children. Intrigued? So are we.

Here's the untold truth of Drew Brees' wife.

Not exactly a meet-cute

They first met back when they were both co-eds at Purdue University, when Drew Brees was a sophomore and Brittany Dudchenko was a junior, according to CBS News. It was Brees' 20th birthday. So what's a college kid to do when it's time to celebrate another year of life with his Sigma Chi fraternity brothers? Get wasted, of course. Well, that's what Brees did, at least.

Brees dished the dirt on his ill-fated pick-up attempt, telling ESPN that while partaking in the revelries at a party, he pounded "about 17 shots" before he decided to approach Dudchenko. And, surprise, surprise. He ended up fumbling their first encounter. "It was a typical football player cheesy line — we'll leave it at that," he said. Oh, we can only imagine.

It would take Brees six months after their first meeting to approach her the right way. Even though some time had passed, he had one big hurdle to cross…

He passed the friend test

Okay, so he made a bad impression the first time they met. But Drew Brees was resilient. He wasn't going to let one foot-in-mouth incident keep him from pursuing the woman of his dreams. He told ESPN that six months after they first met, he "finagled" his way into snagging an invite to a college party he knew his future wife would be attending. And that's where he asked her out on a proper date. She agreed, but their first date wasn't exactly a one-on-one outing.

"All my girlfriends wanted to come with," Brittany Brees told ESPN. "You know, because he was That Guy Who Had Made Such a Fool of Himself." Girls sticking together. We can dig it!

With Brittany's friends in tow, Drew invited some of his "football friends" to join them. They all went to see a movie, where Drew's friends proceeded to throw "Gummy Bears at the screen!" Brittany said. Luckily for Drew, since she was able to get past their awkward first meeting, some high-flying Gummy Bears weren't going to scare her away.

Their secret game-day ritual

As the quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, Drew Brees has a lot on his plate. Before each game, he has to get in the zone to make sure he's prepared to take on that week's opponent. But one thing he always makes time for is a very important moment between him and his wife, Brittany Brees. "We always talk on the phone before Drew goes on the field," Brittany told Redbook magazine.

What exactly are they chatting about? The weather? We'll never know. "We have a ritual, and we say the same things. I can't tell you what we say because we're superstitious, and that might jinx it!" she stated. Shucks!

If Drew calls Brittany and she's unavailable, he doesn't give up. The same resiliency he displayed when he was courting her back in their college days remains. He'll go back to studying his playbook, but he'll keep calling her until she finally answers. "The point is, I don't turn my phone off unless we've spoken," he said.

Her height stole his heart

So, back to that aforementioned first meeting at the Purdue college party. Drew Brees told CBS News that when he first saw Brittany Brees from across the room, he thought to himself, "I'm gonna marry this woman." How prophetic!

What was it about Brittany that really caught his attention? Aside from the fact that she's drop-dead gorgeous, Drew was apparently thinking about his future children while staring at the blonde bombshell. Though he told the outlet it was her "aura" that drew him toward her, Brittany suggested it was actually her height and her "breeding stock." Drew apparently agreed, describing Brittany as "tall, athletic build," and adding that when he laid eyes on her, he thought: "So my boys are gonna get great genes."

Well, his kids are adorable, but we'll have to check back in a few years to see if they were blessed with the "tall" genes.

She made a big purchase without him

Drew and Brittany Brees are dedicated to giving back to those in need in any way possible. After Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and surrounding areas in 2012, Drew announced on CBS' Person to Person (via Yahoo!) that they would be donating $1 million to relief efforts through their charity, the Dream Foundation. But one of their biggest acts of generosity came when they decided to live in New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina. According to CBS News, the Brees family's move to Nola helped "bring the city back from the brink."

Brittany did the house-hunting, and she did it all by herself. Since Drew was away at a training facility, he told the media outlet that his wife purchased the property without him, which was a total surprise. Their home, which they purchased six months after the storm hit, was in the perfect location, according to Brittany. "I loved, you know, being by St. Charles and — and having the streetcar go up and down. We're right by a park … just the feeling of the neighborhood," she said.

Drew didn't mind, obviously. He saw the purchase as doing something for the greater good of the city. He added, "We felt like this was — this was doing our part in the community was buying an older home, renovating it, and making it better."

She has beauty and brains

Brittany Brees did a lot of moving around before settling down in New Orleans with her hubby, Drew Brees. According to Purdue Sports, she was born in Cleveland, but she grew up near Chicago. By the time she attended high school, she was living in Indiana. And, of course, she went to college in Indiana to attend Purdue University, where she would later meet her future husband.

One thing that immediately captivates people about her is her beauty, but she's more than just a pretty face. She graduated from the university in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in organizational leadership and supervision. Her degree comes in handy now that she's at the forefront of her family's Dream Foundation, which she runs full-time, according to Purdue Sports.

As for her husband, he's not lacking in the brains department, either. He graduated from Purdue with a degree in industrial management.

The Brees family is dairy-free

While dating in college, Drew Brees and Brittany Brees would end their week by chowing down on pizza and ice cream on Friday nights, she told Thrive blog. Despite growing up in the midwest and having dairy as a staple in her diet, she began to notice something as she got older: "The more dairy I ate, the worse I felt," she said.

After Drew was drafted by the San Diego Charges in 2001, they moved to the coastal California town and immediately got tested for food allergies. "We were off the charts with several things, with dairy being the highest and most glaring issue," she said.

It was time for the Brees to make some big changes. They swapped out dairy for coconut and almond milk in their home, and they never looked back. "Once we eliminated these foods it changed our lives," she said.

Leading by example

As a mom of four, Brittany Brees is busy non-stop, and setting a good example for her little ones is probably the most important task of her life. During a 2018 appearance on ESPN's NFL Sunday Countdown with her sons Baylen and Bowen Brees, Brittany was asked when her children realized that their dad, Drew Brees, "wasn't just like every other dad."

Brittany responded that she and Drew try their best to give their children a normal life, so she was a bit taken aback when one of Baylen's classmates asked him for his autograph. "It actually upset me because the thing is, they're not famous," she said, referring to her kids. Brittany then told Baylen to recite the life lesson she had taught him about what makes a person famous. "Only if you make this world a better place," he responded as the crowd cheered.

That key piece of advice is just one way Brittany is ensuring her kids stay level-headed. She also makes sure that her kiddos see her and Drew as positive role models in all aspects of their lives. She told Thrive, "To see Drew and I eating well, taking care of ourselves and exercising, I think that's probably our best method for our boys — to lead by example." Hard to argue with that!