Gleason, once again, shows us how to be our best selves

Gleason, once again, shows us how to be our best selves

Credit: (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Giving Back Fund)

NFL player Scott Fujita and former NFL player Steve Gleason attend The Giving Back Fund's 4th Annual Big Game Big Give Super Bowl Celebration on February 2, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Print
Email
|

wwltv.com

Posted on June 20, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 9:25 AM

OPINION

Bradley Handwerger / WWLTV.com Sports Reporter
Email: bhandwerger@wwltv.com | Twitter: @wwltvsports

Steve Gleason could have fired back a vitriol-filled response this week after three Atlanta shock jocks mocked his battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, including his speech through a computer.

Instead, once again, Gleason showed us how adults are supposed to act.

He showed us how to be our best selves.

In a simple post on his Team Gleason Facebook page, the former Saints player thanked the public for their support.

And then he did what many others couldn’t – no – wouldn’t do. He accepted their apology.

In one fell swoop, he changed the local and national dialogue from negative to positive.

Many people wouldn’t have responded as such. They would have harbored hate for the trio. They would have, in their inner thoughts, wished ill of the radio hosts. They would have done the exact opposite of what Gleason did.

But accepting the apology wasn’t the only thing he did.

Instead of just moving on, he also took advantage of the opportunity, one that rarely presents itself, to open discussion about ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a neurological disease that cause muscle weakness and disability, eventually robbing those affected of their ability to walk, talk, eat and breathe.

“I think everyone can learn from this event,” Gleason said. “It’s clear to me that, on a national and global scale, ALS is not understood, which is part of why it’s under-funded and largely ignored. Let’s talk about this … There are zero treatments for ALS.

“If you take any action as a result of this event, I prefer it to be action to end ALS. See what we are doing to change that @ teamgleason.org.”

Since Gleason publicly announced his fight against the debilitating disease, he has shown how to not give in. He has shown how live with such an affliction and get the most out of life you can.

Team Gleason is partnering with tech companies to create and advance assistive technology for those suffering with ALS. It is developing and opening a home for ALS patients in New Orleans. It is taking patients with ALS on adventures, fulfilling dreams not thought to be possible.

So, if you’re looking for someone to point out to your children how to act, look no further.

Gleason is one of the standup guys you want your children to emulate. One of those people you want them to look up to him.

Because he’s a better man than most.

Manziel can’t stay out of the news … because he’s still 20
Johnny Manziel, the first freshman to ever win a Heisman Trophy, was back in the news recently for what I bet he believed to be a throwaway tweet.

The Texas A&M standout quarterback tweeted Saturday night a vague beef: “Bull (expletive) like tonight is a reason why I can’t wait to leave College Station … whenever it may be.”

The nearly 100-character tweet caught fire on the interweb and he quickly issued another tweet saying he loved A&M.

Here’s one thing we forget or have forgotten since Manziel stormed onto the scene.

The kid is just 20 years old. He’s going to be on a rollercoaster of emotions. I’m in my 30s and continue to ride a rollercoaster of emotion.

The spotlight on Manziel is brighter than on most. He’s going to be caught saying things he wishes he hadn’t. His life is going to be dissected with a finer eye than most.

It’s part of the deal when you’re a major-college quarterback at a high-profile school.

And it turns out the tweet was about a parking ticket.

Who hasn’t lashed out at what many believe are authorities preying on their own citizens’ bank accounts?

Heat fans leave early, bang on doors to get back in
The Miami Heat trailed by a margin in the fourth quarter of Tuesday night’s Game 6 of the NBA Finals that they just couldn’t overcome.

Or so a group of fans thought.

But as Jeff Darlington, channeling his inner Bluto, so eloquently posted on Twitter: Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? (Take a look at the mentions for him after he posted it. Hilarious.)

The Heat stormed back, took the game to overtime and eventually won, forcing a Game 7 tonight.

As the comeback was on, those fans leaving the game desperately tried to get back in but to no avail.

And they didn’t deserve to get back in. It’s the NBA Finals. It’s Game 6. You’ve paid a ton of money for the tickets already. Stay and watch the end. Beating traffic isn’t that important in the grand scheme.

Because, as Tuesday night pointed out, you never know when you’re going to see history made.

Chris Bosh, meanwhile, has a message for those fans that left early: Don’t come back for Game 7.

Klinsmann’s style beginning to show itself fruitful
When Jurgen Klinsmann was hired as the U.S. men’s national soccer coach, he promised an up-tempo, high-pressure brand of the game.

And through this past March, that didn’t transpire. He didn’t use the same lineup twice. The team was still a set-piece heavy squad.

But in the past three weeks, the Belgium friendly notwithstanding, the United States looks like it’s closing in on what Klinsmann preached.

The United States took nine points in three World Cup qualifying matches, including a grind-it-out 1-nil win against Honduras.

It’s not that the men’s national team can consider itself a top nation now. Three wins in CONCACAF does not mean elite status. You can, however, see something start to develop with Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey and Fabian Johnson, etc.

This qualifying round, a.k.a. the Hexagonal, is now led by the United States. One more win likely puts this team in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

After stagnating under Bob Bradley by the end of his reign, the United States appears to finally be capable of attaining the next level sometime sooner than later.

Print
Email
|