One night after an emotional victory, the Saints presented former player Steve Gleason with a Super Bowl ring in a private ceremony Monday.
Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune writes that the Saints, ex-teammate Scott Fujita, and Gleason’s wife organized the event. 17 former teammates were there, including Drew Brees, Will Smith, and Deuce McAllister. Saints coach Sean Payton made the presentation.
Gleason, who authored the most memorable regular season moment in Saints history, was diagnosed with ALS. He retired from football in 2008, and spoke to the Saints Saturday night and attended Sunday’s win, which came exactly five years after Gleason’s famous blocked punt.
Gleason reflected on his career while getting the ring.
“At the beginning of the game. I never knew if we were going to win or lose, but I was always for certain that I was going to walk out of there with my head held high because I got ready, I had the right people around me, and I was going to give it everything I had,” said Gleason. “It’s the same now. We’re going to give it everything we’ve got. I have a calming sense of certainty that we’re going to win this thing.”
Gleason has been chronicling his life and battle with the disease on his site Team Gleason.
“I’m fortunate because I am loved by my wife and family; boys like Will Smith and Drew Brees are powerful support, and the 75,000 in the crowd are on my team,” he wrote Tuesday morning.