Port(er) Allen And Pee Wee Honor Former LSU and Saints Star Randall Gay

Randy SavoieAnalyst IIMarch 4, 2010

You weren't a full-time starter at LSU, but they said that you were one of the leaders on that 2003 National Championship team.

You did the dirty work: tackles for losses, quarterback pressures, and deflected passes.

Your rise to the top of the college football world never come as a surprise to those who coached you as a boy.

It damned sure never came as a surprise to Pee Wee, the guy who coached you in little league.

Ole' Riley "Pee Wee" Berthelot.

You were in the fourth grade, playing for the Brusly (Broo-lee) Bears over in West Baton Rouge and you gave "Pee Wee" fits back then.

"When I was coaching that team, I got to where I had to take turns giving all my other guys the opportunity to carry the ball because every time I gave the ball to "Blue" he made a touchdown," said Pee Wee.

You said goodbye to Pee Wee and then it was on to Brusly High School, where you made those fans go wild on Friday nights in the shadows of Tiger Stadium just across the Mississippi.

In only eight games as a senior, you rushed for 1,067 yards and 13 touchdowns, caught three touchdown passes, and returned two punts for touchdowns.

You caught the eye of LSU, just across the bridge, and while there you earned the reputation as a hard-nosed player with a knack for making big plays. Just the kind of player Gregg Williams likes, but you were a good nine years away from meeting him.

You operated in relative obscurity. Not many accolades. Not too many people noticed really. That is, until you made them all notice that night in the Superdome against Illinois in the Sugar Bowl.

In 35 defensive plays, you forced a fumble, returned a fumble 19 yards to set up an LSU touchdown, and had an interception. Also added a pair of tackles and had five tackles versus Tennessee in SEC title game.

Finished regular season with 25 tackles, one sack, and a pair of interceptions...played only eight snaps versus Utah State and recorded five tackles, one interception, one sack, and forced a fumble...intercepted a pass against Ole Miss, only the second interception of the season for Eli Manning.

You intercepted Eli Manning. You made big plays. Forcing those fumbles and returning them a long way. Yeah, you were born to play for Gregg Williams alright.

After you won that national championship at LSU, you caught the eye of Belichick and Pioli and Romeo in New England and they gave you a shot as an undrafted free agent.

And damnit if you didn't prove "Pee Wee" right again, starting nine games as a rookie, including all three playoff games and, then, forcing a fumble in Super Bowl XXXIX against Philadelphia.

You won the damned Super Bowl with New England. You came a long way from Brusly. You made "Pee Wee" proud and you made Brusly proud and you made Tiger nation proud and then, as good fortune would have it, you found your way to the New Orleans Saints.

No more clam chowder and freezing your ass off. Back to Louisiana for you.

Sean Payton knew back in the summer of 2009 that between you and Porter and Greer he had "three good ones" at cornerback.

And the rest is history.

On Saturday afternoon, Port Allen threw a parade in your and Porter's honor. All the  folks from neighboring Brusly showed up. 40,000 people in all. Nearly gave that Port Allen Police Chief a heart attack.

Port Allen and Brusly are rivals but not on this day. On this day they are blood brothers, just like you and Porter.

You tell them that if you and Porter can get along, Port Allen and Brusly can get along and the crowd roars its approbation.

Pee Wee was there—he was grinning from ear-to-ear like a dadgum cheshire cat.

You told the crowd, "We appreciate all the support we have gotten from everybody. We really appreciate it, You know sometimes it's tough because there are so many of you but we appreciate all of you."

You felt guilty you couldn't sign every autograph and shake every hand but you came damned close.

Pee Wee was beaming in the background.

"This is awesome. It's unbelievable. Randall was the same age as my son so I followed him all through high school, some baseball and some football," said Pee Wee.

"One of the things we remember mostly is when, the first game we had, Randall received a kickoff and he ran to the sideline. He was trapped, they had six guys pursuing him."

"He ran to the sideline and he kind of side-stepped with that God-given talent and he ran all the way for a touchdown. Very first time he touched the ball in a real game. We knew we had something special."

Yeah Saban and Belichick and Romeo and Payton and Gregg may have seen it in you but Pee Wee saw it in you first.

You are Randall Gay, one of the NFL's best nickel cornerbacks and one of its least famous.

And on this day, you're Pee Wee's hero and, well, hell, life doesn't get much better than that.


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