Steve Gleason, a former New Orleans and Washington State player who has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, was presented with a Super Bowl ring by the NFL team and a key to the city by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
NEW ORLEANS — Steve Gleason, former Saints special-teams leader and Washington State player, has a Super Bowl ring of his own and a key to the City of New Orleans.
Gleason, who has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, received the ring from Saints coach Sean Payton and the key from Mayor Mitch Landrieu during a surprise party at a restaurant Monday night.
Many of Gleason’s old New Orleans teammates, including Drew Brees, Scott Fujita and Deuce McAllister, shared the moment with family and friends. Gleason retired in March 2008; the Saints won the 2010 Super Bowl.
After receiving the ring, the 34-year-old Spokane native stood and delivered an emotional speech that produced both laughter and tears.
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“At the beginning of the game, I never knew if we were going to win or lose, but I was always 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,” Gleason said. “It’s the same now. We’re going to give it everything we got. And I have a calming sense of certainty that we’re going to win this thing.”
Gleason’s highlights included a blocked punt in the 2006 home opener, the first game played in the rebuilt Louisiana Superdome after Hurricane Katrina.
Landrieu, who called Gleason’s blocked punt the greatest play in franchise history, told Gleason: “You have continued to just teach us and show us with great grace and dignity and strength, what it really means to live a full life. It’s a great lesson and you keep giving it to us, and so we love you.”
Gleason went public with his diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Sunday.
“We can talk about the blocked punt, we can talk about ’06, we can talk about rings,” Gleason said at the party. “But what’s more important to me is what we do after we walk out of this room.”
to return to Colts
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts needed a quarterback with knowledge of their offense. Dan Orlovsky, 28, needed a job.
Orlovsky rejoined the Colts — the team he spent training camp with this summer.
A person familiar with the deal confirmed the signing, but requested anonymity because the Colts (0-3) had not yet announced the move.
Injuries to Peyton Manning and backup Kerry Collins forced the team to add depth at quarterback. The other active QB on the roster is three-year veteran Curtis Painter, who beat out Orlovsky as the No. 3 quarterback.
• The Houston Texans released running back Steve Slaton and signed Chris Ogbonnaya from the practice squad. Slaton has seven carries for 20 yards this season.
• The developer behind a $1.2 billion plan to build a stadium in downtown Los Angeles got a key boost with a law that will help it avoid lengthy court fights.
Billing the measure as a job-creation push, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill at a Los Angeles Convention Center ceremony with executives from Anschutz Entertainment Group, which is proposing to build a 72,000-seat stadium next to the convention center.