New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees to reign as Bacchus during 2010 Carnival

To football fans across the New Orleans area, he's already a king. Now Saints quarterback Drew Brees is poised to make his royalty official when he reigns as celebrity monarch Bacchus during the 2010 Mardi Gras season.

bacchus_brees.jpgSaints quarterback Drew Brees will reign as Bacchus next year. The honor comes three years after Brees rode as the grand marshal of the parade, the traditional capstone event of Sunday before Mardi Gras.
Brees announced his new role Saturday morning on his Twitter feed: "I have just accepted an invitation to be the King of Bacchus for Mardi Gras, Feb. 14, 2010. Hope to see everyone at the parade!"

Krewe officials confirmed through a spokesman that Brees will be their monarch next year, but they opted to wait to comment further until NFL officials could be reached.

With the Bacchus parade scheduled to roll down St. Charles Avenue on Feb. 14 -- one week after Super Bowl XLIV -- Brees' regal debut could well morph into a victory parade of epic proportions, turning the historic Uptown route and the super-krewe's colossal floats into the backdrop for a championship homecoming extravaganza.

Whether or not the stars align, there's sure to be plenty of love in the air for the Saints captain who so far has led the franchise to an unprecedented 12-0 record. The capstone event of the weekend before Mardi Gras, the Bacchus parade is scheduled to roll on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14.

Tracing its roots to the 1940s, Bacchus was the first krewe to choose a national celebrity to lead its parade. Danny Kaye was the first Bacchus in 1969. Other celebrities include William Shatner, Billy Crystal, Bob Hope, Michael Keaton, Nicolas Cage, John Lovitz, Jim Belushi, Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston, Ron Howard, Jackie Gleason, James Gandolfini and Raymond Burr.

The krewe also was one of the first Carnival organizations to open participation to tourists and others from outside the New Orleans area.

Saints head coach Sean Payton, meanwhile, is among the nobility chosen to ride on Lundi Gras with Orpheus, the super krewe founded by native Harry Connick Jr.,