After Further Review: What I'll always remember about September - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

After Further Review: What I'll always remember about September 25, 2006

Source: Nola.com Source: Nola.com
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

I don't recall exactly how I got the job. Such was life for me in the six years between graduating from college and actually getting a full-time job covering sports. I paid my dues during the days and picked up whatever side jobs I could whenever possible. So when the opportunity came to be one of the guys that shot confetti outside of the Superdome for the re-opening, I jumped at the chance.

I didn't have a ticket. So this was my way into the game. Once the pre-game festivities were complete and my job was done, I moved inside. Without a seat, I just kept moving from section to section peeking in at each play of the game.

Finally, I settled in on a section to watch the defense stop Michael Vick on a third down scramble. Then came fourth down.

Somehow, where I was standing was perfectly aligned with the Falcons long snapper. So when the sea of red jerseys parted, it unfolded right in front me. Then came number 37. The image is still so vivid. The game is so fast but for this one play everything was in slow motion. Steve Gleason pursued closer and closer and closer then, 'boom.'

I can still feel the thumping sound of the blocked punt. The ball rolled, Curtis Deloatch scooped it up and pandemonium reigned.

But it's what happened next that has stuck me through the last decade. It was much more personal.

In the midst of the euphoria, I noticed a fan dancing and celebrating on the steps about eight or nine rows down from me. He was a black male, had to be in his 30's or 40's totally decked out in black and gold.

I don't know what came over me but the second I saw him, I walked to him, though it felt like I glided, and tapped him on the shoulder.

He looked at me.

Then we hugged for what felt like an eternity. The grip was tight. The connection was overwhelming. Neither one of us wanted to let go. I felt myself filling with tears, but fought them off. 

It was as if he was a best friend or a relative that I hadn't seen in years and we unexpectedly reunited for the first time. Except we hadn't seen each other before or since. I had no idea who he was and even now can't really describe what he looked like past the obvious physical description.

Eventually, the play was over and we went our separate ways. The game ended. The Saints won and everyone rejoiced.

When thinking about that game, I always have trouble putting it into words. 'Unbelievable' is too generic. 'Emotional' is too weak. 'Transcendent' may be the closest but even that doesn't quite capture it.

For me, I'll always point to that moment. A deep hug and an emotional embrace from two perfect strangers connected by a moment in time that no one can accurately describe but could only feel its power.

This Monday won't be as emotional. But it will be nostalgic. Everybody will have their fondest memory of that night in the back of their mind.

I have no doubt what mine will be.

Copyright 2016 WVUE. All rights reserved.

  • SportsMore>>

  • Pelicans match Warriors for most All-Star Game starters

    Pelicans match Warriors for most All-Star Game starters

    Source: David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | Times-PicayuneSource: David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | Times-Picayune

    The New Orleans Pelicans dropped to 23-21 Wednesday night while the Golden State Warriors are 37-9 and the defending champions, yet both own two of the 10 starting positions in the NBA's 2018 All-Star Game. 

    more>>

    The New Orleans Pelicans dropped to 23-21 Wednesday night while the Golden State Warriors are 37-9 and the defending champions, yet both own two of the 10 starting positions in the NBA's 2018 All-Star Game. 

    more>>
  • Manning Award given to Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield

    Manning Award given to Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield

    The Allstate Sugar Bowl made history Thursday as they named their first-ever former walk-on as Manning Award recipient in Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield. 

    more>>

    The Allstate Sugar Bowl made history Thursday as they named their first-ever former walk-on as Manning Award recipient in Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield. 

    more>>
  • After Further Review: Saints head into offseason guarded against entitlement

    After Further Review: Saints head into offseason guarded against entitlement

    Sean Payton has a clear message: 2017 success doesn't guarantee anything (Source: FOX 8 Photo)Sean Payton has a clear message: 2017 success doesn't guarantee anything (Source: FOX 8 Photo)
    When the Saints met as a team for the final time of the 2017 season this week, it didn’t take long to figure out the premise of their offseason organizational message. Sean Payton: “"There's nothing promised. I think we've got a lot to do this offseason. We've got a lot of work to do in a lot of areas we've got to address.  I think I would just say we'll see."” Drew Brees: “While I think we do have a talented team, I know that each year you hav...more>>
    When the Saints met as a team for the final time of the 2017 season this week, it didn’t take long to figure out the premise of their offseason organizational message. Sean Payton: “"There's nothing promised. I think we've got a lot to do this offseason. We've got a lot of work to do in a lot of areas we've got to address.  I think I would just say we'll see."” Drew Brees: “While I think we do have a talented team, I know that each year you hav...more>>
Powered by Frankly