If you hadn’t already heard, the Saints did something Saturday that proved once again they are one of the most classy organizations in all of professional sports.
They signed ex-Tulane safety Devon Walker, who is paralyzed from the neck down. Walker sustained the injury in a September 2012 game at Tulane, but the injury that could have defeated Walker only fueled his fire.
He graduated on Saturday with a degree in cell and molecular biology, but even that remarkable achievement was trumped in magnitude later that day.
What he thought was a run-of-the-mill trip to a local seafood joint turned into the meeting of a lifetime.
He thought he was going to Drago’s,” Tulane Coach Curtis Johnson told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “In his van, he really couldn’t see outside. He knew a couple of turns were different and then he thought he was coming over here because I always brag about the oysters over here on Friday because we get oysters from Drago’s.”
Walker was, in fact, going to meet up with Saints head coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis to sign a contract.
“He’s been an inspiration to our region, our community, New Orleans, the Tulane family and it’s carried over to us over here with the Saints,” Coach Payton told the Times-Picayune. “I’m proud to be up here with him.”
As for Walker, it of course was the moment of a lifetime.
“For me, this is one of my dreams come true,” Walker told the Times-Picayune. “I’ve been a Saint since before I was walking. Just to be a part of the team and be around the players is more than I could have hoped for.”
Walker can no longer walk, but he is now more of a Saint than ever.
The historic day did have a downside, though: he missed out on his favorite oysters. When asked about it, he flashed a big smile and said, “I might try after graduation now.”