Baton Rouge man who had 'unbelievable' moment at Saints game dies of cancer
BATON ROUGE - A cancer patient featured in a WBRZ story last year over his incredible moment at a Saints game has died.
The Saints' official social media account shared news of Todd Fruge's death Friday afternoon.
The 48-year-old Baton Rouge native was diagnosed with colon cancer in March of 2015 and had been battling it ever since. But Fruge had a rare opportunity to attend the Saints' away game against Green Bay last season when his friend found two last-minute, front-row tickets in the end zone.
“We got lucky because tickets to their games don’t last long,” Fruge told WBRZ at the time. “You talk about meant to be. It was unbelievable.”
But what happened to Fruge once he was at the actual game was even more unbelievable. When Saints running back Mark Ingram scored a 12-yard touchdown run in the second quarter of the Packers game, Fruge was right there to catch the star athlete as he made a 'Lambeau Leap' into the stands.
“He pointed at us and we were thinking ‘Holy crap! He’s coming!" Fruge said.
Packers fans have coined the term 'Lambeau Leap' for when players jump into the bleachers at Lambeau Field, but they’re usually only made by Green Bay players. When asked if he planned the jump from the beginning, Ingram said he was only going to do it if he saw Saints fans on the first row.
“I looked and I saw two Saints fans like ‘Come here!’ and I was like it’s my time, it’s my opportunity,” Ingram told reporters after the game.
Ingram later learned of Fruge's story and welcomed him to a Saints practice in order to meet him and his family.
Fruge, who was also a volunteer assistant football coach at St. Michael the Archangel in Baton Rouge, is survived by his wife Susan, his daughters Ashlyn and Londyn and his son Hunter.