Lets look at the NFL team the New Orleans Saints. The team is playing without their head coach this season Sean Peyton who is suspended for his role in the Pay for Pain scandal that has become to be known as Bounty Gate. They are still debating about who said what because no one can ever say the truth in any accusation these days. The most damning evidence was recordings that were made by a filmmaker that was making a documentary about the struggles of s former Saints player, Steve Gleason who has his own story of paralysis caused from too many blows to his brain.
Steve’s dramatic punt block led the Saints to a blowout win. Some say it was the most important play in franchise history and even after he retired he is proud that the play would be the one thing he would be remembered for doing in his career. That was in 2009 now in 2012 he is confined to a wheelchair and his speech is hardly recognizable. He is 35 years old and suffering from ALS a rare disease that destroys the muscles of the body and keeps going until it shuts down the lungs.
So, Steve studied poetry, and literature. Played guitar, was passionate about the environment and traveled the world every off season. He rented a tiny apartment in the heart of n\New Orleans so he could soak up the culture of the city he called home. He married his girl and backpacked all over the world for 6 months before coming home to start a new life after football. Finished his Masters of Business Administration at Tulane University. Sounds great until the disease kicks in.
Researchers at Boston University have concluded that repeated head trauma, the kinds sustained during a football career, could lead to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. With this proof the biggest NFL scandal of the year was released that involved the team and the city he helped rebuild. It became known as Bounty Gate involving Payton, Williams and Loomis.
The revelation that some Saints coaches and players put up money to injure players bodies and brains, hit them so hard and repeatedly that they had to be taken out of the game due to their injuries. Recorded was the coach saying, “Kill the head and the body will die.” That was the Saints Defensive Coordinator Greg Williams.
There was a pool of money made available to players willing to injure other players. These coaches should be in prison for attempted murder.
Now he has a foundation called Team Gleason to help other players that were targeted to get pelted till paralysis. Has a child and receives $10,000 dollars a month from the NFL to cover total and permanent disability. There is a statue in bronze that shows him getting that punted ball that changed New Orleans spirit that is erected along the side of the New Orleans Super Dome.