The Saints home opener against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday was brimming with emotion and consequence for many reasons, starting with head coach Sean Payton's return for his first regular season game after his Bounty suspension.
After shaking players' hands with players during stretching and observing warm-ups, Payton had one more pre-game duty. He walked out onto the field to lead the crowd in the now customary "Who Dat" chant just before kickoff, accompanied by former Saint Steve Gleason, who is battling ALS.
Together, the pair led the chant, sending the crowd into a roaring frenzy to start the game.
"There was kind of a lump in my throat with Steve," Payton said."He is a guy that has been so close to this program. He epitomizes, when we started in 2006, a player that worked extremely closely with us and was very dedicated. To be out there and enjoy that with him was special. I saw him afterwards, and he shot me that text and the computer voice came on and said, 'You almost disl...