Thursday, October 30, 2014

Gleason Gras 2014

For the first time in four years, it didn't rain.  In fact, the weather could not have been more beautiful.  Seventy degrees and zero humidity...the stuff of the heavens.  The only troubling thing about this fact was that we broke tradition.  It has poured at the beginning of every other Gleason Gras.  And continuing with the Gleason Gras tradition, the Saints have never lost the game after a Gleason Gras.  This particular weekend we happened to be hosting the red hot if you were a superstitious person, you were worried when it didn't rain.

Anyway, it was another glorious Gleason Gras, filled to the brim with awesome music, awesome food, and an A-list bunch of hometown heroes.  I could go on about how many awesome athletes showed up to lend their support, or about how many awesome musicians rocked a free stage, but I'll just let the pictures do the talking.

For me personally, this was the saddest Gleason Gras yet.  This was my first time learning of SMA, or Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  It's basically ALS for kids.  It's hard to imagine that it can get crueler than ALS, but I found out firsthand that it could.  This was my first time seeing kids affected with this disease, and it ripped my heart out.  One of these kids in particular, Miller, is probably still too young to fully understand exactly what is going on...or what is going to happen.  From what I saw, Miller was a perfectly normal kid.  He and Steve became instant buds.  It's hard to fathom the blow he and his family have been dealt.  This, more than ever, is exactly why we need to find a cure.  To see such a sweet and innocent child with such a heavy future is just unacceptable.  I don't mean to get you down, but it's easy to forget just how terrible this disease is for everyone who faces it.

[If you are interested in learning more about Miller and SMA, his parent's run a blog called 
Go Miller Go.  You should check it out, and donate if you feel so inclined.]

Steve & Miller just hangin' out.

Steve has become an outright celebrity in his fight against ALS, and it's hard to forget how stupid and cruel this disease is.  Steve has such a wicked funny sense of humor that it's also easy to forget how hard or frustrating it is to even type out a single tweet.  The people of this town have been absolutely amazing with their support, and I truly don't think this kind of love and support could happen anywhere else.  That being said, I don't want Steve and Team Gleason to be some sort of passing fad.  Team Gleason is doing an amazing job of helping other pALS, and we should never forget the work they are doing.  I truly believe that a cure will be found in our lifetime...and that is exactly why Steve is fighting so hard.  So please, continue to donate if you can!    

To end on a positive note, the Saints DOMINATED the Packers, and in doing so, looked like the Saints we've all become used to seeing.  The tradition holds.  Enjoy the photos.

Wild by Royal Teeth on Grooveshark

John Michael has played at all four Gleason Gras.  

The Honey Island Swamp band.

Ryan Anderson, Tyreke Evans, & Anthony Davis himself.

The 610 Stompers never disappoint.  

I will be a 610 Stomper one day.

Cam Jordan couldn't have been a nicer guy.

Thomas Morstead is a true friend of Steve's...and a beast.

Royal Teeth rocked the house.

The crowd was treated to a "freestyle" session from Mr. Davis.  


The one and only Rickey Jackson. 

Mr. Brees showing off his basketball skills.

Steve and Anders.

Frenchy doin' his thing.

Shayne Graham, one of the most down to earth humans beings I've met.

Til next year!