Steve Gleason Recalls His Historic Punt Block That Resurrected the New Orleans Saints

Published 09/26/2021, 11:37 AM EDT


It has been exactly 15 years since Steve Gleason dove over to block a punt leading Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans Saints to victory. The punt block became a symbol of resurrection as it united the distressed people of New Orleans and brought them back together after a period of complete darkness.

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Steve Gleason’s elegy to late coach Al Everest

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That was the last season of Steve’s career and made the best out of it. He owes much of his success to his New Orleans Saints Special Team Coach, Al Everest. He recently dedicated one of his tweets to him by saying, “The punt block never happens, the fans don’t spill beer all over & the statue is not built. If I didn’t have Al Everest. Al was my ST coach 2000-2006. He taught me everything about getting to a punter, special teams & so much about life. A true Master mentor. RIP Al, I love you.”

Gleason, in another of his tweets, revisited the long-gone past of his groundbreaking punt block. The changes it brought about in New Orleans were just unimaginable and out of the blue. This simply proves the worth of the NFL and how it can unite people and provide them with a ray of hope.

A night that resurrected New Orleans Saints from ashes

His heartfelt tweet for NOLA (New Orleans, Los Angeles) said, “My thoughts on 15 years ago, nearly to the minute. Not much has changed. I’m fueled and lifted by other people today. This fuel allows me to help others in need of fuel… Thank you Nola.” 

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Gleason’s punt block became a symbol for the rebirth of New Orleans from the ashes of Hurricane Katrina. The storm caused mass destruction, where about 1833 people died and left millions of others homeless. A bronze statue of Steve Gleason, named “rebirth” stands tall to commemorate the transcendence of football in the city of New Orleans.

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Gleason didn’t have a very eventful NFL career, playing only for the Indianapolis Colts and Saints. However, a single punt block pushed him to the top, making him a symbol of hope for an entire city.

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Sauvik Banerjee

230 articles

Sauvik Banerjee, an NFL writer for EssentiallySports, has completed his graduation in English and Economics. The previous content marketing intern has a combined passion for both writing and NFL. He is a self-professed geek, who loves to play chess and football in his spare time.

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