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New Orleans Saints Most “Unlikely Heroes Of Them All”

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The end of Milne’s NFL career sparked the beginning of another Saints hero.  This one was also released by the Colts in 2000 only to be signed by the Saints to their practice squad.  It was Safety Steve Gleason.

Gleason was known as a solid Special Teams player who would race down the field with little regard for his own well being.  He would charge into bodies and literally throw himself in harm’s way.  On September 26, 2006, Gleason would create a moment that not only the Saints, but America would be watching.  I dubbed it, “The Block Heard Round The World”.

New Orleans was still recovering from Hurricane Katrina and rumors had been abound that the franchise was possibly on the move to San Antonio.  The Saints were forced to play home games on the road because of the damage to the Superdome  and hope was dim to say the least.  The Atlanta Falcons were coming into the refurbished Superdome that night and all eyes were on the Saints.

The Saints had stopped a Falcons drive early in the first quarter and were set to punt.  The punter received a clean snap and began to come forward with the kick.  However, Gleason cut through the Falcons front line with his usual style of play and did a Superman-style leap, blocking the punt.

Saints Cornerback Curtis Deloatch recovered the blocked punt for a touchdown for the Saint’s first score.  Gleason ran with outstretched arms along the sideline, his long hair flowing, while the Superdome erupted.