“That’s what dads do. They pass the best of themselves to their kids.”-Steve Gleason
Steve Gleason is known around New Orleans as a legend due to his legendary block of a punt in the first game after Hurricane Katrina decimated the city. Watching it in St. Louis and not being a Saints fan, I couldn’t help but be moved and pumped up by it. It was like he picked up the city and threw it on his shoulders when he launched himself in front of an Atlanta Falcons punt. He didn’t know years later that he would make an even bigger mark on the world. Gleason, the new documentary, documents that journey.
After his football career ended, Gleason was diagnosed with ALS syndrome, otherwise known to millions as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The disease attacks everything in your body but the one thing it couldn’t touch with Gleason was his heart, which he kept as strong as ever for his wife and his son. Clay Tweel’s documentary takes you from Gleason’s playing days to his struggles with ALS to the birth of his kid. In order to “give all of himself” to his kid, Gleason films the pregnancy and the events that take place afterwards.
You don’t have to be a football fan or sports fan to have this trailer and story touch your heart. This trailer will destroy you a few times. I’ve watched it ten times and love everything about it. The part where Gleason tells his kid he is going to stick around at least until the kid can walk and noting, “It’s not going to be easy but it’s going to be awesome.” The use of Pearl Jam’s classic “Given to fly”. The reunion of Gleason with the crowd at the Metrodome. This is a movie that is going to make grown tough men cry and it’s okay.
“I believe my future is bigger than my past.”
Gleason is remembered for that thrilling play in the game that picked a city off the ground and will live on for decades as an embodiment of the spirit of New Orleans. His greatest mark in life will be staring death in the face and telling it to hold on while he becomes a parent and fights this terrible disease every day. If you need to be inspired, watch this trailer. It will break you.
The wonderful power of documentaries is pulling the curtain up on a story that looked interesting yet needed more of an in depth look in order to fully appreciate. What Tweel does with Gleason is bring an amazing story to our eyes and doesn’t pull one punch. It is the best trailer I’ve seen this year.
Watch it below: