Saints punter Thomas Morstead does 418 pull-ups to raise money for charity

Ryan YoungYahoo Sports Contributor
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/teams/nor" data-ylk="slk:New Orleans Saints">New Orleans Saints</a> punter <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/players/9428/" data-ylk="slk:Thomas Morstead">Thomas Morstead</a> completed 418 pull-ups in one hour on Monday afternoon, raising more than $60,000 for charity. (Getty Images)
New Orleans Saints punter Thomas Morstead completed 418 pull-ups in one hour on Monday afternoon, raising more than $60,000 for charity. (Getty Images)

New Orleans Saints punter Thomas Morstead put his strength to good use on Monday afternoon, though he wasn’t just looking for an intense workout.

Morstead completed 418 pull-ups in one hour on Monday afternoon at the Saints’ practice facility while working in one minute intervals, surpassing his initial goal of 400, while raising money for a good cause.

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Morstead raised more than $63,000 for a school fund for the children of Chris Cordaro — a former Saints sales account executive who was diagnosed with cancer in his pancreas, liver, bone, spine, scalp and lymph nodes in 2015.

“I met [Cordero] a number of times and just figured I’d go visit him in the hospital,” Morstead said, via the team’s website. “He had a really bad diagnosis – I think he had two or three months to live, three years ago. Call it what you want. I call it a miracle … We’ve gotten super close, we’ve had some pretty vulnerable conversations. He’s just been really faithful.

When you just see somebody handling something so adverse in such an awesome way, that was kind of the pull to want to do something. I was talking with one of my priest friends here in town and he just said, ‘If you feel called to do anything, you need to do it.’ Me and my wife are doing a donation, which kicked it off. Just wanted people to know that I had skin in the game, I wasn’t just asking for people’s money, that it was important to me. It’s important to a lot of people in this Saints building.”

Morstead — who has been with the Saints since the 2009 season — set an initial goal of $60,000 for Cordero’s two kids, and will continue raising money through Wednesday.

And after he was done with his pull-ups, Morstead even helped Cordero knock out a few pull-ups, too.

“It means the world,” Cordaro said, via the team’s website. “This guy is top-notch. He does so much for so many people. Just to be on his radar means a ton.”

Morstead is no stranger to charity work off the field, either. He started the “What You Give Will Grow” foundation in 2012 with his wife, which focuses on kids battling cancer and even donated more than $220,000 to Children’s Minnesota — a children’s hospital in Minneapolis — after the Saints fell to the Vikings in the playoffs last season.

And when he had the opportunity to help out a friend, Morstead didn’t think twice.

“I just kind of feel like we’re all family here and I’ve been fortunate enough to stick around for a long time,” Morstead said. “I just felt compelled to do something and to help out. I think it’s been nice to give the family something to focus on that’s outside of what they’re dealing with right now.”

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