Jim Henderson / Sports Director
Like the win that occurred in the same building five years earlier to the day, Sunday’s win over the Texans will long be remembered for its conclusion, but remembered even longer for its preamble.
The play of our heroes will fade under the unrelenting glare of time and the ravages of illnesses that often accompany it. But what those heroes stood for will not, even when they could no longer stand without difficulty.
Steve Gleason’s shadow has shrunk under the weight of ALS, and yet it grows longer with each day life permits him.
Drew Brees invited Steve to lean on him as the ceremonial team captain – and he had to. In many ways, anyone who played with Steve, who watched him during his prime, who knew him as a neighbor, or who embraced him from every corner of the Superdome Sunday, will forever lean on him. Because we want to. Because at some point in our lives, we need to.
We will need to summon an uncommon strength to face an uncommon foe as he faces one of the least common and most virulent challenges life can put in our path.
He meets it head on as he did for so many years as the wedge-buster on kicking teams…history will judge at what price. As a player he was usually amongst the smallest on the field. Sunday, on the floor of the Superdome, he looked to be a boy amongst even the smallest of men in uniform.
And yet he towered above them all.
Lou Gehrig’s disease has shrunk his body but expanded his heart. Just as Katrina shrank New Orleans’ footprint, but expanded the true meaning of this city’s imprint on us all.
In the city that care forgot we must never forget to care about the things, the people, their value and what they mean to us all.
We must never forget Steve Gleason.