5 Year Anniversary: My Thoughts

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In its simplest form, football is just a game of boys. But in this game there are so many lessons that correlate to life outside the game. For me that correlation has never been stronger than it was yesterday.

Sometimes in life, despite your efforts, things don’t go your way. Yesterday, we found ourselves 10 points behind after a brutal 80+ yard drive by the Texans. There was an obvious pass interference penalty and some cheap shots from the Texan’s secondary.

Sometimes in life, you screw things up yourself. Yesterday, we saw interceptions and missed tackles and incorrect routes by receivers.

Sometimes in life, you feel like you have no time left before the clock runs out. Yesterday, we were down by two scores with less than one quarter to play.

I know football is just a game and it may not be important who won or lost yesterday. What is important is what these games can teach us about life.

Yesterday, despite bad luck, poor play and dire circumstances, I saw a team that stayed together, leaned upon its support, and faced its fear head on with a calming sense of certainty. A winning formula.

The challenges that I face are real. This is no game. Physically, things have not gone my way, I’ve made mistakes in life and the experts tell me the clock is ticking. It’s scary to walk out on the field in front of 75,000 people when you’re half the man you used to be.

I wanted to unravel, drop my poise and close up the playbook.

But in the end, I think the formula is the same. I am staying close to the ones that I love, I am relying on support from my team and I am looking my fear in the eye and laying bare my chest.

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.

I am not here to predict the outcome of my life, but deep within my soul, I have a calming sense of certainty.


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94 Responses to “5 Year Anniversary: My Thoughts”

  1. Josh Potter
    September 27, 2011 at 6:03 am #

    You also have a legion of Cougs behind you Steve…you are an inspiration

  2. Alli
    September 27, 2011 at 6:03 am #

    Love your take on the game and life. You’re such an inspiration. Sending you (and your family) all the luck in the world–you’re a strong hearted man, you can power through this! You’re a well-loved part of this team and community, don’t ever forget that. We’ve got your back!

  3. September 27, 2011 at 6:09 am #

    Steve, you gave me more inspiration with your courage then you will ever know. As a life long Saints fan, I will never forget that block you made on the RE opening night 5 years ago. But the courage your facing now is incredible. I am praying for you, and your family . Godspeed to Steve & Michel and your inspiration to me is tenfold god bless you!!!!!

  4. Rebecca Scott
    September 27, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    Your strength and courage is absolutely amazing to me. To allow your family, friends, and fans to see your true emotions during these times is truly inspiring. You are not half the man you used to be my friend, you are now more of a man than you ever were for your actions these last few months. You have shown people that no matter what their circumstances, they must fight! That love and family are most important. So don’t close your play book, open a new one for all of us and find some new plays. I will be staying tuned in
    Thank you again Steve!
    Rebecca Scott

  5. Bill Ullo
    September 27, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    You continue to live life with a most incredible purpose, and you are touching lives with an amazing sense of strength that can never be taken from you. Thank you so much for all that you’ve done for your team, community, and family. I am a better man simply for being a fan of yours; it’s hard to imagine the greatness you’ve inspired in those closest to you, or the sheer force of joy that awaits the world when you become a father. God bless you and yours, Steve. We are praying for you.

  6. Mike
    September 27, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    Steve,
    Just know that whatever physical limitations you may incur, you will never be half the man you were. Your heart and mind will remain the same, and THAT alone is what makes you the man you are. Stay strong.

    • September 29, 2011 at 12:29 am #

      yes. what mike wrote. multiplied…

  7. Joe Douglass
    September 27, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    The test of someone’s or a team’s character is in the face of adversity. Football is the greatest game because individuals and teams have to answer this question, this test, relentlessly. The good ones always rise to the occasion and “ring the bell,” displaying an intestinal fortitude. A team or person can’t do that without great character. The Saints showed on Sunday that kind of character. They responded in the face of adversity, it’s an essential trait for their future success. I don’t know you, Steve, but I’ve been touched by you. This is a tough one, no doubt. These traits are strong in you. Thanks for sharing your fight, your test. You will touch and inspire many along the way.

  8. Ken O.
    September 27, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    Steve, I honestly believe that one single instant in Saints history (and your life) sparked an entire state towards recovery from devastation. You know of course of the instant I speak of…. The very moment Michael Koenen’s kicked football hit your arms. I’m not sure any other moment in everybody who was watching that game’s lives had ever electrified them the way that one did. It showed people that greatness is possible, that hard work, faith and dedication will get you just rewards.

    An entire state thanks you for your effort on that day and many others, and willingly stands beside you as you face this latest challenge. We hope you can draw from our strength the way we drew from yours, and that your recovery is as full as ours was.

  9. September 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    Steve, we sincerely hope that you know that you have more than 75,000 on your side. You are remembered not just for the player you were, but as the man you ARE. Physical being will never define your manhood. You are a true man because of the way you live your life. I have always heard about what a great guy you are. Much respect, WE LOVE YOU, STEVE!!!

  10. Robert
    September 27, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    Hi Steve:

    Just wanted to say that you have shown great courage in your life as a player and i see that you have that same courage off the field as well. I wish i could remove whatever illness has or is effecting you. In your life you have greatly influenced many people in over just a short period of time- you should be so proud of all your accomplishments.. i live a pretty ordinary life in nyc- my occupation does not allow me to influence people in such a manner as you. I wish i could .. i would trade all that i have today to have spent that day on the field with you going to war besides you and the saints. Life has given you a handful of cards and you will continue to play those cards like you have always.. the best you can.. i just want you to know i will pray for your health.. and if you are ever in nyc…first round on me! all the best.. always

  11. Bobbi
    September 27, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    Very Well said..
    God Bless you and Michel

  12. BlacknGoldCoffee
    September 27, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    I was proud to be in that number at the dome cheering you on but also know this, it wasn’t just the 75,000 cheering you. Millions watched that game and millions have your back. The way this team has rallied around you – and by team I mean your fellow players, the organization, its fans, and the entire city – makes me proud to be one of the many. You are showing more strength off the field then I have ever seen on the field, my family’s thoughts and prayers will forever be with you and yours.

  13. Charles Brown
    September 27, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    “It’s scary to walk out on the field in front of 75,000 people when you’re half the man you used to be.”

    Wrong! In my mind, that makes you twice the man you ever hoped to be.

    Good Luck, be well

    CRB

  14. Jeanne
    September 27, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    You will always be in my thoughts and prayers!

  15. Pat
    September 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    Half the man you used to be? You are easily 10X the man you used to be to walk on the field like that. I understand how you might feel, but trust me, no one perceives you that way. Finish strong!

    Much respect,

    • Bill
      September 27, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

      Pat took the words out of my mouth.
      Trust me, there is good reason to look ahead with genuine hope in view.

  16. Joey Howell
    September 27, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    We love you Steve. You are a giant among men and an inspiration for me to be a better person. I’m indebted to you for that. God bless.

  17. jean d rodrigue
    September 27, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    my prayers are with you and your family.. Keep the faith and stand strong.

  18. boo
    September 27, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    wow dude u are so STRONG GOD will not let u down u could have easly been killed in a car wreck and never had time 2 let it all out and have prechious TIME WITH urFAMILEY u have millions praying 4 u dude FINISH STRONG

  19. Jason
    September 27, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    You have inspired me to start living my life to the fullest. So much of my life has been wasted, the people I love gone unappreciated and my dreams and goals put of for another day. You have always been one of my favorite Saints players, you are becoming much more than that to me and thousands of others with your words and courage.

  20. Mireille Pike
    September 27, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

    Knowing your inspiring story and seeing you at the game brought back happy memories of someone I knew that had ALS. He too embraced life and made the most of every enjoyable moment. Thank you for sharing your story. The Who Dat Nation loves you. My prayers are with you and your family always. God bless.

  21. Shane
    September 27, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    Steve, you are a huge inspiration to everyone, and seeing you walk out on the field is a moment we will never forget! You were always one of my favorite players because of the never quite and non stop intensity you brought into each and every game. And I’m sure you’ll face this with the same attitude! Number 37 should def be retired! Remember that every setback is the opportunity for a comeback!

    • Donna
      September 28, 2011 at 12:47 am #

      You have a LOT more than 75,000 people on your side. We love you!

  22. Aline
    September 27, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

    My prayers are with you and your family. I read this article some time ago and just in case you haven’t seen this article, I thought I would pass it along.

    http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2011/08/siddique-als-breakthrough.html

  23. Michaelchase
    September 27, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    As a now cancer free and HIV survivor for 21 years, I can not even begin to express the JOY and HEALING that game, that night, and that play (The “Block”) has given me over the last five years! I flew back to NOLA for that Sept 25th Falcons/Saints game from San Francisco. That’s where my best ‘straight’ friend (we had been in radio together years before) had given me free shelter until I could get back on my feet after losing my apartment and my job to Katrina and the levee failure. With all I was battling at the time, that block in hindsight, gave me my stance, my joy and my hope back! The Block let 70,000 people shout, and that cheer seemed to say: “I’M STILL HERE, I SURVIVED! , I’M GONNA BE OK” … Thank you for your strength, your dedication, and your commitment to battling (although that word is uncomfortable) ALS. With all I was dealing with 2005 through 2006 with both my health and my personal loss, I had to surrender to a higher power (new-age truth and channeling), as I know I don’t have all that long before my exit, but hell, I’ll live until that very last moment! I know you will find your own way. Thanks again Steve. Oh, btw, about 20 of us at the bar last night want to tell you “you’re still ‘hot’, dude”. lol!

  24. CO Doo's
    September 27, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    Steve

    The boys are so excited to see their Uncle Steve and Aunt Michel for Thanksgiving! You are in our thoughts and prayer’s. Keep pushing forward and sharing your message, those who hear it will become better because of it.

  25. Stacey
    September 27, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    You have truly given me some inspiration in spite of all the odds. Just this past February, I was an elementary school principal with the world in my hands. But, in March, I knew that the fatigue I was feeling wasn’t quite a result of my hard work schedule. Tests confirmed that I have Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. In spite of the fact that I had been verbally told I would have a position with the school this year, my contract was not renewed in June. I am now a 44 year old mother of four, looking for work at retail stores (I will have to have two jobs to make ends meet), on unemployment, struggling not to lose my house and car. And of course, the obvious that at some point, I will need to fight cancer. Your courageness and willingness to share your story with others has given me the push I need to perservere (sp?). I will try harder not to be ashamed of my current circumstances and to face the day with the same amount of optimism that you convey. My heart truly goes out to you and your family – please know that you are an inspiration to so many people who you do not personally know. We are all pulling for you and hope that you and your family find strength in knowing how much we care!

  26. Ed
    September 27, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    You are one of my favorite Saints because of your attitude and mentality towards the game, and nothing I see indicates you are any less of a winner now. I remember when you shaved your head back to donate your hair to kids with cancer back then because of your charity towards others. Responsibility and charity towards family and others it what makes a man, not football or physical prowess. It seems quite the contrary, actually, for you to say you’re “half the man”…how you’re handling this adversity makes you more than twice the man. I can only hope I face the adversity in my life with the poise and courage you and your family are. Best wishes to you, your wife, and your soon-to-be addition.

  27. Neil
    September 27, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    ” It’s scary to walk out on the field in front of 75,000 people when you’re half the man you used to be.”

    Your twice the man you use to be. Keep your head up man and God bless.

  28. Adrienne
    September 27, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    You were not walking out on the field in front of 75,000 people as half the man you used to be. That was 75,000 + more people that want to walk WITH you in this fight. Let us know what you want us to do. A fundraiser, walk – whatever. You tell us when and where and we will be honored to stand by you. Let’s do this.

  29. Jennifer Williams
    September 27, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Steve, it is so great to get updates from you on your thoughts and feelings. I have wondered about you lots over the years after retirement; so glad you have resurfaced even though the circumstances are not ideal. I hope all the love and support you are receiving is lifting you up…not out of pity or sorrow, but out of respect and admiration for your bravery and honesty. Facing that crowd on Sunday took so much courage I am sure. I agree with earlier posts–you are 10 times the man you used to be, NOT half!!!

    PLEASE keep the videos and thoughts coming, especially the ones made by you and Michel for your child. Your travel blog was so cool to read as well. I personally am so happy to see you back in public again. And you are as handsome as ever!!!!!

  30. Robert
    September 27, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    Steve,
    The stature of a man is unimportant. The real measure of a man lies in his heart. You, my friend, are a giant among men.

  31. NOVASaint
    September 27, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    Steve, your physical body may let you down, but that spirit of yours is strong. You are an inspiration.

  32. September 27, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

    very few people in this world have had the opportunity to change the culture and attitude of a professional sports team with one play. I, like many others will never forget “the play” that symbolized recovery, rejuvination, and hope. 53 players that would play vith the determination, desire, and intensity you showed on every play you were associated with in your career would never be defeated. We have a word in Louisiana that I believe symbolizes your contribution to the Saint”s lore. That word is “Lagniappe”, the little extra, the giving of a little more. As you continue to carry on the fight against this disease, please count each day you spend with those who love and care for you as Lagniappe. God Bless.

  33. Lisa
    September 27, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    Hey Steve, we have a hometown friend with ALS that was also a football star. You are definately an inspiration to all and your insight is amazing. On a medical side, I am sure you have heard the debate about ALS vs. neuro brain disorders from concussions in football. Don’t know if this will help, but have read some reviews on low dose naltoxene that may be helpful in improving your immune system? Google it….I believe if we stay open our possibilities are endless…God is bigger then our problems…don’t tell God how big your problems are, tell your problems how BIG your GOD IS!!!!! Take care!!! PS Atlas orthogonal chiropractic care may help too!!!!

  34. September 27, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    You are one awesome human being, nephew, and your wife, as petite as she may appear, is one giant pillar of support.
    I’m so thrilled at the outpouring of love you receive each day, every message of love so well-deserved.
    I could not be more honored to call you family.

  35. Adam Puente
    September 27, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    Steve,

    You now own two of the most memorable events ever in New Orleans Saints lore. The blocked punt in the Dome Opener and five years later when you left everyone in the Dome and the Saints fans worldwide with tears in their eyes and hope in their hearts. In a game that boys play, you truly are a man among boys. To face this turn in life head on is not only admirable but what most people wouldn’t have the strength to do. Know that you have a legion of Saints fans across the world cheering you on. Know that you are an inspiration to many more. Know that you as you leaned on Drew Brees, we leaned on you. You’ve got millions of us behind you. Continue to fight Steve. We’re rooting you on.

    Adam Puente
    Salisbury, MD

  36. Tom Ranken
    September 27, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    25 years a saints fan, watching almost every single game. Yes, your blocked punt against Atlanta sticks out in my memory and I appreciated you on our team. Until yesterday, I had no idea what was going on in your life. I want you to know that your courage touches me, that I will pray for you, and that I believe God is using you mightily right now. You are a real Special Team Ace.
    Keep going, and thank you,

    Tom Ranken

  37. Gene Joanen
    September 27, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    Steve, you have always and will always be Aces. I am in awe of your courage. Your deeds help us make the most of it all. Thank You So Very Much!

    Geno

  38. Scott
    September 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    Steve, you’ve inspired the shit out of me and it was an honor to be in the stadium with you Sunday. My thoughts and love are with you and your family.

  39. Lisa Emboulas Farrell
    September 27, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    Steve,

    As I watched you Sunday, I was immediately transported back to that day five years ago. By some stroke of luck, we had gone around to the other side of the Dome and were allowed to go in just prior to the official re-opening of the Dome. When the doors opened we were in our seats to see the rush of people. What they may not have seen that day, was you out there stretching in the North end zone (where our seats are). You were quietly stretching out, with earphones blasting your music (I have no doubt) and your long locks were up in 2 pony tails on each side of the top of your head. A man, in his own world, doing his own thing and preparing for battle. Now, as you are in the battle of your life, I want you to remember that there are so many more than the 75,000+ people that were in the stands this past Sunday. You have so many prayers being raised on behalf of your family it is mind boggling. Probably more than there are grains of sand on the beach (many of them from your friends at The Village Church in Lacombe, LA). We are here with you…lean on us! Find strength in us when you feel you have given all you can. You are NOT alone in this battle. We stand shoulder to shoulder with you.

    God Bless!

  40. Anne
    September 27, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    You may be half the man you used to be physically, but emotionally, spiritually, and mentally you are 10 times the man most of us can only hope to be. My prayers are with you and your family.

  41. September 27, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

    Hi Steve,

    I have ALS and I have been fighting it for 11 years now. I workout almost every day and then I work in my shop every afternoon building the most beautiful furniture you have ever seen. ALS has made us brothers and I believe I can help you live a longer productive life. I’m not selling anything and as much of my time as you need I will happily give you. As I stated above ” ALS has made us brothers” I live in Lockport , La and I’m here for you 24/7. I’ve learned a lot in the past 11 years. Time is your worst enemy!

    • SG
      September 28, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

      Fran.
      You are my inspiration!

  42. Quintron
    September 27, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    “I’ve made mistakes in life” we all have…they couldn’t be bad enough to punish yourself. Keep on trucking.

    • SG
      September 28, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

      Totally agree. I’m not beating myself up. Just acknowledging that we all make mistakes and we can not dwell on the mistakes, or be afraid to make mistakes if we want to ‘win’ in life. Thanks!
      -SG

  43. Susan Daigle
    September 27, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    Proud to have been apart of the millions of fans that shared your strenght during half time.You have made the Who Dat nation very proud. A true man amoung men. Prayers are been sent straight to heaven, and believe me God hears them. God Speed, a loving MoMo (grandma)

  44. Jeremy
    September 27, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    I hope you can provide your own analysis for all the games this season. You said that 75,000 were on your team, but it’s much more than that. It’s an entire city, an entire state. We love you Steve. You gave us hope in 06 and you give us hope now. Be strong. If anyone can beat this it’s you.

  45. Glenn
    September 27, 2011 at 6:43 pm #

    “Half the Man you used to be” No way Steve, you have the same heart, that’s what makes the man. God Bless.

  46. Doc (Who Dat Tailgater)
    September 27, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    Steve, Keep inspiring my friend! Without being directly in your immediate family, circle of friends or presence, we all want you to know that your courage to ‘fight the good fight’ every moment leaves all of us with a greater appreciation for the love and commaraderie the SAINTS community everywhere. Throughout life’s other substantial hardships since Katrina, the Saints community and spirit have been a blessing to many of us, not just on Sundays. Your fight is the very center point of that spirit. Lean on everyone us, anytime, anywhere, anyhow! God’s Speed, and continued support always!

  47. Glenn
    September 27, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    As one who attended the first game in the history of the Saints, I want to thank you for one of the most exciting plays in Saints history. The punt block on that night at that moment in our city’s history ranks right up there with Dempsey’s record field goal, the drafting of Archie Manning, and our Super Bowl season. That night you gave a lift not only to your team, but to an entire city in dire need of something good to happen. You will always be a fan favorite for your relentless style of play, enthusiasm, and courageous heart. It was great to see you at the game Sunday. You are a true inspiration to us all. Our prayers are with you and your family – God bless you Steve

  48. George
    September 27, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    Steve, I cannot put into words the inspiration you are, especially to me personally. I recently have been fighting my own disease and just finished the 2nd of 3 surgeries I need. To read your story of how you have faced your fear and laid your should out bare is truly inspiring. I know from my own experiences, when I am alone and the fear creeps in, that this when we need that support from the ones we love and NEED the inspiration of unique, amazing people like yourself! You will forever be in my prayers and I, along with many others, WILL NEVER FORGET You.

    I have been a life long Saints fan even after my parents moved me from New Orleans. I will never forget flying in 3weeks after Katrina to help my brother gut his house and be utterly shocked at the devastation. All of that pent up frustration, sadness, and anger was truly released when you blocked that punt. You were the inspiration that day as you are again today. You will forever be a cherished by the Who Dat Nation!

  49. Marc
    September 27, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

    ” You cannot live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”— John Wooden

    You have lived and will continue to live many perfect days.

  50. Louis
    September 27, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    One of my favorite players ever. We’re basically the same age and I always thought you were the most down to earth and coolest players on the team and someone that would definitely be fun to hang with.

    You’re an inspiration to everyone, not just Saints fans. Thank you for all you’ve done!

  51. Michaelchase
    September 27, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    As a now cancer free and HIV survivor for 21 years, I can not even begin to express the JOY and HEALING that game, on that night, with that play (The “Block”) has given me over the last five years. I flew back to NOLA for that Sept 25th Falcons/Saints game from San Francisco. That’s where my best ‘straight’ friend (we had worked in radio together years before) had given me free shelter until I could get back on my feet after losing my apartment and my job to Katrina and the levee failure … On that night, that play, had everyone’s demons running scared! An amazing moment.
    Thank you for your strength, your dedication, and your commitment to battling (although that word is uncomfortable for me) ALS. With all I was dealing with 2005 through 2006 with both my health and my personal loss, I had to surrender to a higher power, as I know I don’t have all that long before my exit, so I’ll live full until that very last moment. I know you will find your own way. Thanks again Steve. Oh, btw, about 20 of us at the bar last night watching MNF want to tell you “you’re still ‘hot’, dude”. lol!

    • SG
      September 28, 2011 at 11:04 pm #

      Ha! I’m glad to see that I’m “still hot with the NOLA gay crowd”.

  52. WayneC
    September 27, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    Steve, you have given so much of yourself, you are truly an inspiration to all of us.
    I remember when you grew, then cut your hair and donated it to the “locks of love” foundation for children with cancer, etc….
    You will forever be embedded as not only a Saints’ player, but as a true SAINT !
    I know this dreadfuld disease has robbed you of some physical abilities, but you are NOT half the man you were, you are much much more than that Steve.
    GOD bless you, your wife and baby, and all of your family.

  53. Karcher Wild
    September 27, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    You’re amazing dude! I don’t know you personally, but I love ya. Keep it up, you inspire the hell out all of us.

  54. H & T
    September 27, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    Steve,

    My wife and I are neighbors of you and Michel. We have often said that we are lucky and blessed to live in a neighborhood and city with people like you two. Thank you for being so great; not just on the field, but also in person. In your post above you mentioned leaning on your support. Know that we’ve all leaned on you (as a player for the team and representative of the city) in the past. Please don’t be hesitant to lean on us now. Use your foundation to challenge us. Your fans will respond.

  55. Jason C
    September 27, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    You have way more than 75k on your team.

  56. Jennifer
    September 27, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    I think we are all in agreement Mr. Gleason, you are twice the man you were. For us, it’s impossible to believe that a man already in such high esteem could inspire us more, but you have. We are Who Dats. We are from places like Louisiana, and Mississippi. We inherently know what it is to be down, and out. However, we also know that we are strongest when we face the problems head on. Our character is greatest when we are at our lowest. I’ll play videos of you’re terrific NFL plays for my Godson in the future, but I will teach him more about your strength, character, courage, and perserverance than i will about your ability to play. Tears run down my face when i think of what you will endure, but I know that you will never endure it alone. We are WhoDats….no one endures alone….instead we endure as one united nation that knows triumph as much as they know pain. A nation that fights to make it through 6 days of a week, so that we can get to the blessed 7th day when our Saints play. We will never let you down, Mr Gleason. God knows you never let us down.

  57. Jennifer Bradley
    September 27, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

    Steve,

    Yes, we all loved you for being one of our beloved boys sporting the black and gold and let’s not even get into the night you single handedly made the dome errupt and shake as if the earth itself had moved beneath us. However, I was at the dome Sunday and was deeply saddened to here of the challenges you and your family are forced to face. Just know that your courage and strength that you so valiantly displayed on Sunday was more moving and electrifying to me than that majical night that you lit up the dome. A man is not defined by his physical characteristics but by the character he displays when faced with adversity and you my friend are by all accounts, handling this set back with grace and poise. This entire community will be praying and rooting for you. God Bless you and your family. The Bradleys

  58. Kennedy
    September 27, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    “That which does not break US”, Steve, “makes us STRONGER” … a man is not measured by his size or appearance, for HE is measured by what is inside. YOU are a man with an enormous HEART and it does not show just by how you performed on the field but, it is SEEN just being in your presence. WE cheered for you 5 years ago during a play that, will be FOREVER remembered, WE cheered for YOU once again as you walked out on the field with support from YOUR Team and WE continue to cheer for YOU. Allow this unique ‘Nation’ to support YOU and embrace OUR love.

    Godspeed to YOU & YOURS #37!

    Namaste’

  59. Ann
    September 27, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    I just read the article written by Jeff Duncan. My college son is a huge sports fan and he put the Seattle Times sports writer on my twitter – anyway, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times posted the link to this article. A round-about way of me seeing it!

    One of my family’s dearest friends has recently been diagnosed with ALS – a man of 54 years. He has 3 daughters; the youngest just off to college this year. I guess he can look at it that he was blessed to raise them until now. In his family, the disease is genetic. His father died of the disaese and now his girls have a 50% chance of contracting ALS.

    I just felt the need to let you know that prayers are with you and your family. To let you know that there are people all over the country raising funds and awareness for ALS. I will pass the article on to our friend – maybe he is aware of the drugs you are taking or can ask a Doctor about them. Thank you for your willingness to go public – people need to hear how devastating this disaese is. More awareness, maybe more money for research.

    Take care and know so many people do care.

  60. Michelle
    September 27, 2011 at 10:50 pm #

    Steve, I always admired your integrity on and off the field. I loved that you grew your hair to donate to Locks of Love and years later I did the same. I had the opportunity to meet you briefly when the Saints would stay at the Wyndham the night before home games in 2003. It only secured your spot as one of my favorite Saints players, as well as one of my favorite people. Thank you for sharing your story so that we may share our support and love with you. My thoughts and prayers are with you. <3

  61. Sunshine
    September 27, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    You are by no means half the man you were. Your physical limitations are nothing compared to your attitude, courage and strength!! You are truly 10x more of a man than anyone who’s stepped on that field!! I’m now recovering from a third back surgery,. I put the surgery off too long and as a result will probably have a degree of permanent damage and may require additional surgery to prevent more damage. I was very active all my life and now have extreme pain using a cane to walk when I am able to. When I saw how you handled yourself with such dignity at the game, it gave me renewed strength at a time when I was feeling down about my situation and the idea of living “fragile” as the doctor’s assistant suggested. I thought “fragile,” my feelings are fragile because I can’t do 1/10th of what I could before. You are truly an inspiration! Your appearance has renewed my inner strength! Thank you!!! Never forget that not only are your family and friends standing behind you, but the entire Who Dat Nation is standing behind you!!! Your family will remain in my thoughts and prayers! Thank you for being an inspiration to all of us!!!!

    • SG
      September 28, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

      Tremendous! Get busy livin!!

  62. Craig Walker
    September 27, 2011 at 11:13 pm #

    Steve, the one line that struck me was that you’re “not half the man you used to be”. I’d like to disagree with you. To walk out in front of 75,000 battling what you’re battling took a real man. A man with courage. A man with heart. My dad has Parkinsons, and he has withdrawn from the world. Perhaps what you did yesterday will inspire others to continue to live their days, however many the are, to their fullest. In my mind Steve is what I saw yesterday….so much more than just a football player. Props.

    God bless you and your family.

    • SG
      September 28, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

      Craig. You are right. Physically, I may be a smaller man. In all other aspects, the ones that matter, I continue to grow and expand exponentially. The adventure continues!!

  63. Brian
    September 28, 2011 at 12:47 am #

    You helped give a lost city hope in its one of its darkest hours and I hope we can help return the favor. Your courage in the face of adversity is inspiring. God Bless you and your beautiful family. We’ll all walk with you on your journey.

  64. Stefen
    September 28, 2011 at 3:54 am #

    Steve, all of your Coug brothers and sisters are your support as well. You inspired all of us all those years ago in Pullman and continue to inspire us each day. We’re with you man!

  65. Kyle
    September 28, 2011 at 4:20 am #

    Steve,

    My mom has been diagnosed with ALS for over a year. My family is learning first hand about this devastating disease. I learned of your diagnosis on my way to last Sundays game, and it broke my heart. When I saw you through my binoculars being helped to midfield by Drew and Will I almost cried. When your hand dropped to start the Who Dat Chant I was overcome with emotion and could barely say it.

    I have always been so proud of you–proud of your achievements as a Saint and proud that you stayed in New Orleans–that you are one of us. I will tell my kids and grandkids about you. I will tell them about an undersized defender with a big heart who inspired millions.

    My mother can’t speak anymore so she communicates with her iPad. She “says” that God
    has given her a very important purpose, and she has been an inspiration to everyone who loves her. People are astonished that she can put her condition aside and be so concerned for others. As she becomes weaker she makes us stronger.

    You have some important work left in your life, perhaps the most important. I know you will rise to the challenge, and face your burden with grace.

  66. Linda K.
    September 28, 2011 at 6:17 am #

    Steve, I was impressed and thrilled by you as a player and motivator much earlier than that opening night in 2006. You always played with such energy, and were oe of the first players to really try and rally the fans and your teammates suring Special Teams play. Your inner energy and enthusiasm shines through and is contagious. We all wanted to win for you this past Sunday—silly as it sounds….it is just a game after all…or is it? You have already done so much, a lot of it you won’t really know about–but with this path you now have, you are already affecting thousands of people in how they think, feel and act. Know that The Who Dat Nation and countless others have you in their hearts, heads and souls, and will maybe see their lives a bit differently because of you. Peace.

  67. sonja
    September 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

    Dear Steve:

    Though your problem may seem bigger than life, please hold on to God’s hands. Nothing and I mean nothing is impossible for Him. i am praying for you, and on yesterday I logged on to my favorite saint’s website, St. therese of the Little Flower, and asked her to join with me to ask God for a miracle for you, as well as others. In Jeremiah 33:3 God promises an answer to all of our problems. Every day I promise you that I will not give him rest until He answers our request to enlighten the doctors’ minds, to find a cure or better treatment to halt ALS. And there is no doubt in my mind that He will do it. That is the unshakeable faith I have in him. Hold on, the best is yet to come.

  68. September 28, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    I would like to start by saying that your life & life stories are truly an inspiration to so many. I have been following your story, travels and pouring out of your heart & all I can say is it really pulls on your fan’s heart strings! You have such an amazing attitude and strength. You give others hope and stregth of their own. Ever since you grew your hair out for kids with cancer, people knew you were someone special & unique. We thank you for all you did after Katrina…you are a true hero for New Orleans. I hope you know you have a team of your own. People who are behind you. I helped with a fundraiser about a year ago for a friend who was also diagnosed with ALS. His progression has been quick moving and has been rough but through his good attitude and good spirit he is able to enjoy his life every day. That is what I hope for you. You are bringing a child into the world soon & I think it’s amazing that you want your child to know you for who you are. Luckily, you have a world of people who can share your story because you have opened your heart to everyone, especially our city.

    I opened a store in River Ridge about 5 years ago, called Bayou Gifts. We are licensed through the NFL and carry all the official merchandise. I am familiar with your foundation and I did some research on your shirts, “Better now than Never”. I would love to sell them in my store. I do not need to make a profit off of them, I would just like to sell them & donate the funds to your foundation. I know you are probably very busy but I would also like to offer you the opportunity to come out and maybe sell/sign your shirts here. Either way, I would love to sell them and donate 100% to your foundation. Please let me know if we could help with your foundation. I am NOT looking to make money off of these shirts, I would just like to help this cause. I hope we can find a cure for this ugly disease.
    Also, it would be an amazing thought to have Drew Brees promote this for one of the home games. We sold his “Finish Strong” foundation shirts and EVERYONE wanted them to wear to the game where he asked to black out the dome:) Feel free to email me & I will give you my cell phone number:)

    My thoughts and prayers are with you Steve & your whole family…STAY STRONG!!!
    Melanie

    • SG
      September 29, 2011 at 6:47 am #

      Melanie.
      Please email us at teamgleason37@gmail.com with ‘fundraiser’ in the subject line and we’ll get in contact.

      Thanks
      -the TG team

  69. Johna & Rian Lindell
    September 28, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    Steve–You played at WSU with my husband, Rian Lindell, and being a Coug myself, you were so fun to watch on Cougar Football Saturday! We kept tabs on you in the NFL as well. When we heard your news, it hit us both very close to our hearts and we want to let you know you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers! I enjoyed reading your adventure to PJ20. Wow! What an amazing experience you had. I grew up about 20 minutes from the Gorge and it’s such an amazing place to watch a concert. Especially one as epic as PJ. We will continue to read your updates. You have an absolute gift with words…

  70. Donna
    September 28, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

    Steve, You will always be an inspiration to us all! A man should not be defined by his physical or mental abilities but by his heart and soul, which you have plenty of both. Thank YOU for reminding us how we should live our lives and for reminding us of what is truely important. I will give my family extra hugs tonite. You are in my prayers always.

  71. Eddie
    September 29, 2011 at 12:33 am #

    Steve, I have to say that I admire your will and determination for what you are going through. I know how difficult it must be for you, your family and your wife and it breaks my heart to read your story. Maybe one day with your efforts there will be a cure for ALS that can help people in the future.

    I’ve been a Saints fan my entire life and I used to enjoy watching you play the game. Your energy, your focus was amazing. I know people are not supposed to second guess the decisions GOD makes but I just don’t understand why he takes the good people, such as yourself.

    Your future child will be very proud of you and to one day see your accomplishments, both on and off the field.

    Enjoy your life and I wish you and your family nothing but the best. You are in my prayers.

  72. Mike
    September 29, 2011 at 1:25 am #

    “It’s scary to walk out on the field in front of 75,000 people when you’re half the man you used to be.”…………… all I can say is if we can someday be half the man you see yourself as,, we will be twice blessed. When you took the field as a active player, you were the guy I always had my eye on. Thanks for those football memories My wife & I being in the 75,000 against the Texans when you took the field, that you for including us as part of you team. We are honored

  73. James
    September 29, 2011 at 1:29 am #

    Steve, Wow man….just wow. I’m gonna go do something I’ve always wanted to do but didn’t have the guts.

  74. sushi steve
    September 29, 2011 at 1:40 am #

    All the yrs I’ve served u at the sushi bar or bumped into you at the saints luncheon or the saints coors lite tent I’ve always remember telling “Steve u have to do something people will remember by” here u are fighting like a true warrior.
    Peace and prayers to u . Don’t give up.
    Sushi Steve

  75. September 29, 2011 at 1:53 am #

    Steve – please check out pubmed.gov governmental website about health and type in ALS. One of the contributing factors to contracting ALS is oxidated stress. Then checkout http://www.mylifevantage.com/tarend – there is a supplement available that reduces oxidated stress in everyone who was tested to the level of a small child. This Is a peer-viewed study also available on pubmed.gov. Please check this out and get on this product as soon as possible. My mother has gotten incredible results with her alzheimers disease and others with Parkinson’s also experiencing incredible results. All three mentioned diseases – ALS – Alzheimer’s – Parkinson’s list oxidated stress as major contributors to contacting these diseases. Tina Arend

    • SG
      September 29, 2011 at 6:56 am #

      Thanks Tina.
      If you don’t mind, can you email us at TeamGleason37@gmail.com with ‘Medical’ in the subject line. That would be sweet.
      Thanks.
      -The TG crew

  76. Eun
    September 29, 2011 at 3:41 am #

    Hey Steve,

    How are ya? It has been long time. I heard about you from Tony when I ran into him while working since we work for the County. I was shocked to find out you have ALS. After finding out, I wanted to contact you and give you my support as a friend but didn’t know how. Sorry for taking this long to find out. It was good to see you on TV again even though it was a game highlight. Congrat to you and your wife on having first baby soon and will pray for you and your family.

  77. Karl Sander
    September 29, 2011 at 4:24 am #

    Steve-
    There’s also plenty of old Bullpups in your corner. I’ve always looked back at that time fondly – the weightroom under the gym with JJ, double days August, the old and not terribly forgiving turf at Albi. It was a formative time. It was inspiring seeing my teammate go on to success on Saturdays at WSU and on Sundays in the NFL. What made it inspiring was knowing you made it there because of heart. I wasn’t the least bit surprised to hear of the great work you did off the field in New Orleans either – it’s the guy I knew at Prep. The big heart and unstoppable motor will serve you well now, and your courage continues to inspire and make the world a better place for all whose lives you touch.

    My wife and I send you and your entire family our best!

    Karl Sander

  78. September 29, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    Hi Steve – you are a very inspirational person. We met briefly in the Rouses suite at a game, oh, I guess a few years ago. Your strength will endure. All the best to you and the family. Congrats on tne new arrival.

  79. A.D. Ibarra
    September 29, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    Steve,
    I’ve been inspired by you long before your famous blocked punt. You are the warrior I always knew you to be, the fighter who made the squad and did whatever you needed to do to remain on this team and I have always rooted for the underdog. Your play reminds me of the unsung heroes of sports, the offensive linemen who strap ‘em on and strap it on every play, the special teamers on kickoff and punt who gun down the field risking life and limb for the sake of the team. You are and will always be a hero to my kids and theirs as we are the biggest Saints fans in Texas and the joy you brought us on that day whe the world was watching is a fitting tribute to you and your will to strive to be the best. Godspeed on this, your biggest challenge yet as we all hope and pray that Steve Gleason and his doctors will be the first to make a breakthrough against this dreaded ailment. Who Dat? Wel against ALS, Steve, YOU Dat…Love you, Bro! God bless you, your wife and your beautiful family.
    A.D. Ibarra

  80. Ashley
    September 29, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    Steve,
    It takes tremendous strength and courage to face what you are dealing with. My uncle suffered from ALS and I understand first hand what you are dealing with. It’s so great to have supportive people around you. It’s probably one of the most cruel diseases in the world. You are mentally able to do things that your body will not physically allow. Just know that although you have your family and friends, you also have the support of all the who dats behind you. You are already handling everything with humility and grace. You are a great role model and an inspiration to everyone out there. Keep your head up :)
    Ashley

  81. nina
    September 30, 2011 at 6:19 am #

    I see the videos and read the stories. I CAN NOT wrap my head around this story! Michel, I have known u since I was a child and I know you will both GET THROUGH THIS! Steve, I have yet to meet u personally but you are F$%*(ng amazing. I would take your place in a second!!! what an inspiration you both are. ALL MY LOVE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The world is better after hearing your story!

  82. Allison
    September 30, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    When I saw you on TV with your wife I thought to myself what an inspirational beautiful person you are. Since then all I can think about is how I can possibly help. My daughter and I will be at the ALS walk this Saturday at LaSalle Park and hope to see 70,000 others there as well. Please know that all of us Who Dats are here for you and your family every day (day or night). God bless you and your family and congratulations to you both on having your first baby soon.

    .

  83. October 6, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    My husband Kevin was almost thirty when he was diagnosed with ALS in 1995. He too was a hero and battled the disease for nearly six years. He was tough, funny and handsome and he contribulted more to life while dying then most poeple do in health.

    The nurse told us at Penn that Kevin was his own percentage and would be his own statistic so don’t worry about the numbers. Just live!

    I will email you also. Have a children’s book about ALS and I would like to send you a copy.

    God bless you and your family Steve!.

    p.s. I love that you are making video tapes. We also filled out cards for all the important ocassions. Priceless.

  84. October 9, 2011 at 3:34 am #

    Steve,

    I just wanted to let you know that I very much enjoyed working with you and think you are an inspiration and thought provoking person for anyone coming into contact with you. Your ambition and drive to continually succeed remain with me and surely continue to inspire those around you to be better.

    Congratulations on your soon to be newborn baby as well as obtaining your MBA. I want to wish you and your family enjoyment and happiness in your future.

    I am pulling for you to be number 4 Steve. I know that you can do it. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Sincerely,

    Mike