For seven seasons, Steve Gleason experienced many highs and lows with the New Orleans Saints. A defensive back and special teams player, Gleason was in the Superdome for New Orleans' first playoff win in history. Then five years later, Gleason played through the team's relocation from New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
But the greatest moment in Steve Gleason's career came when he blocked a punt against the Atlanta Falcons the night the Superdome reopened in 2006. This moment has been memorialized in the "Rebirth" statue that was dedicated on Friday, July 27 in Champions Square.
Steve Gleason has also become a symbol of strength through his fight against ALS. In 2011, Gleason appeared in the Superdome and revealed that he had contracted ALS. Despite his struggles, Steve Gleason continues to make public appearances and raise awareness and funds for those suffering from this debilitating disease.
New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame
I've written several articles about the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame and the "haters" love to opine that we don't deserve a hall of fame and there are far too many players in it.
Of course, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion in America. The last time I checked there weren't any rules about halls of fame. If the organization and its fans are happy with the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame, then it doesn't matter what other NFL fans think.
There are 38 players, two coaches and an owner in the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame. Although he may not have the accumulation of stats that other hall of famers have, I think most Saints fans would agree that Steve Gleason had an even greater impact on the franchise than some players who are already enshrined.
Time will tell if Steve Gleason ever gets into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame. The "Rebirth" statue may be the only official Saints' tribute to Gleason. But for the strength he has shown in the face of adversity and the love of Saints fans around the world, I would vote for Steve Gleason to be inducted in the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame.
Patrick Michael lives in New Orleans and has always been a big fan of the New Orleans Saints. Patrick's favorite Saints season was 2009 when New Orleans won Super Bowl 44. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
Brett Martel, "Saints unveil statue of Gleason punt block," yahoo.com
"Steve Gleason," pro-football-reference.com
"Saints Hall of Fame Info," neworleanssaints.com
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