The blocked punt that etched Steve Gleason into Saints lore and became symbolic of New Orleans' resilience in the face of disaster is now immortalized in a nine-foot statue outside the Superdome.
''That statue is not about football,'' Gleason, straining to speak because of the effects of ALS, said moments before the formal unveiling on a rain-soaked Friday afternoon. ''It's a symbol of the commitment and perseverance that this community took on before that game.
''There were 75,000 people in that stadium and few hundred thousand others outside the stadium who had already committed themselves to coming back and rebuilding this community,'' Gleason continued. ''So that statue is a symbol of what they did. And I think that moment was the moment when we as a team got to share that commitment and perseverance with the rest of the world.''
Gleason famously blocked the ball off of the foot of then-Atlanta punter Michael Koenen and into the end zone for a Saints touchdown on Sept. 25, 20...