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?