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Saints will unveil “Rebirth” statue on Friday

25e5e758c4f4bb54b1d2ba31664c25fa Getty Images

At a time when so much talk has been devoted to a statue that has gone down, it’s nice to talk about one that has gone up.

On Friday, the Saints privately will unveil their “Rebirth” statue, which captures the moment from September 2006 at which the Saints and New Orleans unofficially returned from a year lost to a hurricane.  It’s an invitation-only event, with players and team executives and politicians present for the pulling of the sheet from the sculpture.

One man who can’t attend due to his bounty-related suspension previously has explained what the statue will look like.

“We’re working on, and have a long-term vision of a statue right there in Champions Square of [Steve Gleason] blocking that punt [against the Falcons],” Sean Payton said last year.  “And it really represents more than the actual play itself.  That play really represents what was the re-opening of the Superdome and the beginning of us kind of picking ourselves back off the mat as a city and getting back to what we know as a normal way of life.”

It was a Monday night moment anyone who experienced it, live or on TV, never will forget.  After a rousing pre-game concert featuring U2 and Green Day, the Saints entered the building and then took the field and forced Mike Vick and company to punt and Gleason slid to his left and sprinted through a gaping hole untouched and blocked it and Curtis DeLoach recovered it and the Saints would go on to beat the favored Falcons and when does football start again because I have goosebumps?

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28 Responses to “Saints will unveil “Rebirth” statue on Friday”
  1. bucrightoff says: Jul 26, 2012 10:05 AM

    Pretty amazing that in 5 years the Saints went from arguably America’s most loved team to arguably America’s most hated team.

  2. bullwnkl985 says: Jul 26, 2012 10:14 AM

    This is one time when the NFL should temporarily allow Sean Payton access to the team during his suspension!

  3. goodolebaghead says: Jul 26, 2012 10:16 AM

    I was at this game. I have been going to the Superdome my whole childhood, and after Katrina I was afraid I may never get to experience it again. I think that’s how all 70,000 fans that night felt. The dome was rocking, and when Gleason blocked that punt, the entire stadium went balistic. My vision was literally shaking from how loud the crowd got.

  4. Ashley says: Jul 26, 2012 10:17 AM

    I think that was the first time I teared up while watching a sporting event. Glad they are memorializing the moment.

  5. jsotis76 says: Jul 26, 2012 10:31 AM

    the only respectable reason to hate the saints is because you’re a fan of another NFL team and so you hate the other 31. if you hate the saints because of the bounty thing, you’re a doofus.

  6. gridironmike says: Jul 26, 2012 10:54 AM

    Let’s not overreact, bucrightoff. The most hated team in the league always has been and always will be the Dallas Cowboys.

  7. lawman2391 says: Jul 26, 2012 10:54 AM

    When do they unvail the statue of Vilma with bags of bounty money?

  8. bigball1 says: Jul 26, 2012 11:05 AM

    I have not been to them all, but I have been to about 12 or 15 NFL stadiums. There really is nothing quite like the Saints and the Superdome experience. The ability to just walk down the streets to the game with people and music bubbling out of the corners, the energy just building as you get closer. And that was a night of nights….
    Congrats to you Steve Gleason!

  9. sj39 says: Jul 26, 2012 11:12 AM

    the only respectable reason to hate the saints is because you’re a fan of another NFL team and so you hate the other 31. if you hate the saints because of the bounty thing, you’re a doofus.

    You actually hate all 31 other teams because you are a fan of one? You must not really like football then.

  10. yourignorancespreads says: Jul 26, 2012 11:18 AM

    I still can’t believe that any fan and when I say fan I mean true fan that understands the aspect of the game can still act as if what these guys do in the game every day hitting people hard intercepting the ball hitting a quarterback to ring his bell to get him off his game to hit a wr hard so they hear footsteps next time. Is wrong and outside the game. Guess what people Its a tough game that I played for over 9 years of my life. If you can’t handle it then stop watching cause your too much of a wimp to handle it.
    Then you got people saying the saints had a pay to hurt. Well if so show me the evidence. Till then everyone shut your mouthes. All you fans hating on a team for evidence that’s not proven and having one of the least penalized teams in the nfl over the span of time they supposedly did this. NFL and these league representatives better stop or there gonna lose more then there rep.
    Speaking if players trying to hurt people some one please show me who’s more at fault. The saints with a so called bounty program. Or Harrison on the steelers hurting people with illegal hits all the time and knowing he is doing it being fined for it an still refusing to change his game then having the owner of the steelers coming out and saying he would help pay for the fines of his player so he wouldn’t have to change his style of play or apologize. That’s worse then a bounty. This guy is really hurting people with hits that are deemed illegal by the NFL and being backed to do it by the owner. Hey GOODELL wtf are you doing idiot

  11. halen11 says: Jul 26, 2012 11:19 AM

    I was at that game too. It was a great day overall… I remember during pregames seeing Gleason jogging up and down the field with white earbuds in his ears and his hair up in pigtails. He was totally in his own zone doing his own thing apart from the rest of the team.
    After the Green-Day/US performance, everyone was pretty pumped and louder than I’d heard at a football game pretty much ever… but when Gleason made that block, things went up to another level. I’ll second what goodolebaghead said… my vision was shaking too. After the game, Michael Vick said one of the more insightful things he’s ever said. When asked about the noise in the stadium, he said “That was Hurricaine Katrina”.

  12. bucrightoff says: Jul 26, 2012 11:24 AM

    See hating the Cowboys isn’t fun anymore because they are simply losers, and have been for 20 years. Hating New England, the Saints and Pittsburgh is a lot easier because they are actually relevant and have won something in recent times.

    The bounty thing contributes to the hate, but the arrogance of Sean Payton and Loomis, along with Brees having a permanent case of foot-in-mouth, have made the Saints infinitely unlikeable.

  13. slickster35 says: Jul 26, 2012 11:48 AM

    1) Indoor football sucks!

    2)The Aints are now the most vilified team in the league, and it’s because of human trash like Brees more than any bountygate crap. The Brees antics during the lockout will NEVER be forgotten.

    3)Get the paper bags ready again. It’s over for all intents and purposes.

  14. justintuckrule says: Jul 26, 2012 11:49 AM

    Although I’m not a Saints fan, I rooted for them in 06′. With the crap that has happened to them this year, I’ll probably be rooting for them again.

  15. schmitty2 says: Jul 26, 2012 11:51 AM

    Whether you like the Saints or not..that was a special night

  16. turtlehut says: Jul 26, 2012 12:03 PM

    And New Orleans Saint’s apologists were saying that Goodell just hates them and wants to tear their franchise down with a trumped up “Bountygate”!

    Jeez!

  17. rgledz says: Jul 26, 2012 12:06 PM

    …..and in other news….Gregg Williams has offered a local group $5,000 to put a ding in the statue, preferably near a knee. The NFL is investigating.

  18. acromartieismydad says: Jul 26, 2012 12:06 PM

    Bigger picture…..this bounty garbage is not life or death, season will pass and things move on.

    Great thing here is there will be a permanent reminder of a hell of a player and man (Steve Gleason) who is fighting a real battle much bigger than anything the Saints have to overcome on the field. If anyone deserves a statue it’s Steve.

  19. bluefan204 says: Jul 26, 2012 12:09 PM

    Someone should have told Brees and Company:

    Arrogance breeds hate

    How you comport yourself goes a long way with most people, and they’ve been anything but humble or sincere with regards to how they’ve handled themselves in the public eye. I don’t care how much charity work they’ve done. They think they’re better than all of us.

  20. philtration says: Jul 26, 2012 12:18 PM

    No mention of how the Saints ownership wanted out of New Orleans in the worst way and just when it looked like it might actually happen, the NFL stepped in to turn this into a “feel good” story.

    Otherwise the Saints would be playing in San Antonio right now.

  21. purplegreenandgold says: Jul 26, 2012 12:43 PM

    “sigh”…im touched by all the comments and i thought
    no one kept up with saints history but saints fans

  22. grevemoeskr says: Jul 26, 2012 1:04 PM

    It wasn’t a punt he blocked. It was a field goal from det only Dane ever in the NFL, and the guy with most points in a carrer, Morten Andersen

  23. hpeters77 says: Jul 26, 2012 1:19 PM

    I remember that day like it was yesterday and yes I did cry. In manly way

  24. kane337 says: Jul 26, 2012 1:19 PM

    “No mention of how the Saints ownership wanted out of New Orleans in the worst way and just when it looked like it might actually happen, the NFL stepped in to turn this into a “feel good” story.

    Otherwise the Saints would be playing in San Antonio right now.”

    Very true. Yet Saints fans hate the commissioner anyway.

  25. geauxmez says: Jul 26, 2012 1:21 PM

    I’ve been a life long Saints fan, and I’ll be moving home next week. I may cry a little when I see this.

  26. surfinbird1 says: Jul 26, 2012 2:03 PM

    In order to help forget about bounties, the statue will be George Bush fishing from his boat on the streets of New Orleans with the caption “The’re biting in New Orleans”.

  27. franktherat96 says: Jul 26, 2012 2:49 PM

    kane337 says:
    Jul 26, 2012 1:19 PM
    “No mention of how the Saints ownership wanted out of New Orleans in the worst way and just when it looked like it might actually happen, the NFL stepped in to turn this into a “feel good” story.

    Otherwise the Saints would be playing in San Antonio right now.”

    Very true. Yet Saints fans hate the commissioner anyway.

    _________________

    Because it was Commissioner Tags that stopped Benson, not Roger GoToHell. Roger wasn’t even commissioner until the 2006 when the new season started.

    And since then Benson has made huge efforts in the community. He has purchased Fox 8 in New orleans, The Hornets and is trying to talk the local paper who wants to stop printing daily into selling to him and some other people so we can keep the daily paper.

  28. breesus504 says: Jul 26, 2012 9:21 PM

    I too was there that night. And let me tell you, I still get goosebumps thinking about it. The dome was filled with emotion. I have never seen so many grown men cry in my life. Yes, Hartley’s kick that sent us to the Superbowl was a great moment. But that night was about more than just a game of football…..

    It will be one of those moments that I get to tell my grandkids about…..

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