Steve Spagnuolo may be leaving the New Orleans Saints, but he's also leaving a smile on young cancer survivor's face
By Melinda Morris, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune The Times-Picayune
on January 31, 2013 at 2:54 PM
Hearing about defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's heave-ho from the New Orleans Saints made me sad. But the reasons had less to do with football and more to do with my son, Paul Morris, now 21, who was diagnosed last summer with Hodgkins lymphoma.
Thanks to Saints cornerback Jabari Greer and A Child's Wish, an organization similar to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Paul and I spent a day at Saints training camp in August. That was at the beginning of Paul's treatment, which included 12 grueling rounds of chemo at the Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center at Ochsner.
And of the many fine folks in the Saints organization who spent time with Paul that day, Spagnuolo was a standout. He went out of his way to chat with Paul at length, even though he had his hands full, putting the guys through their paces on that hot day. Paul is done with chemo now and just got a nice clean PET scan this week. He's applying to Louisiana State University for the fall to study biology, and life is starting to seem brighter.
A little lagniappe came Wednesday in the form of a phone call from a mysterious number with a Missouri area code. "Who do I know from Missouri?'' Paul said he thought, after getting the call Wednesday night. He couldn't answer it, because he was at work in his job as a cook at Midway Pizza on Freret Street. Then he looked at a text message he got: It was from Spagnuolo.
They got to chat today, and Paul said Spagnuolo told him he was cleaning out his desk and came across the column I'd written about our day at training camp, and Paul's cell number. So Spagnuolo decided to call Paul to see how he was doing. "It meant a lot to me that he remembered me from training camp and it seemed like he genuinely was interested in my health and what I was up to. Just the fact that he made a quick phone call made my day.
Paul said Spagnuolo is easy to talk to.
"There are a lot of class acts in that organization,'' Paul told me after getting the call.
I agree, and for me, one of the classiest acts is leaving. I wish you well, Steve Spagnuolo.
i didn't add anything to that post because that article says everything you need to know about Spags. And we need him back.
I am a big believer in the process of continuous improvement. If Spags isn't an upgrade over PF then I am a defensive lineman for the Giants names Ojomo. lol
No one remembers who came in second.