Huskies Insider Blog

No rivals in this battle

The rivalry between Washington and Washington State has always been heated, contentious and spirited. But it's never been cruel. And really, it's just a game at the end of the day.

And this goes beyond football. Former Coug defensive back Steve Gleason, who became a cult hero with the New Orleans Saints for his special teams play and his blocked punt against the Falcons in the first post-Katrina game at the Superdome, has been diagnosed with ALS - Lou Gehrig's disease. You may have seen him come out for the coin toss of the Saints game against Houston.

"It's easy to start questioning whether God has this plan and why the plan would include me getting diagnosed with this disease," Gleason said. "And that's when you can start why-ing yourself to death. More than that, I've thought, what does this mean, how does this help me fulfill my purpose in life? If we have a purpose in life beyond being a cog in the human machine, mine is to help inspire people and that's pretty cool. I would like to motivate the world."

I don't care what school you went to, which team you cheer for. This is beyond alma maters and allegiances. This battle is between people vs. an awful disease.

So you can support Team Gleason by buying shirts with the his motto (pictured above): "Better Now than Never" at his website.  All the proceeds go to ALS research.