Baton Rouge native battling cancer attends Saints game in Green Bay, has an extraordinary moment
BATON ROUGE- A father of three fighting cancer attended the Saints game on Sunday and recalls one of the most memorable sports moments of his life.
When New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram scored a 12-yard run in the second quarter of the Packers game, he probably had no idea what kind of impact the Lambeau Leap that followed made on his chosen fans.
47-year-old Todd Fruge from Baton Rouge was diagnosed with colon cancer in March of 2015. Fruge had the opportunity to go to the game when his friend John Hartmann found two last-minute, front-row tickets in the end zone.
“We got lucky because tickets to their games don’t last long,” Fruge said. “You talk about meant to be. It was unbelievable.”
With 12:35 left in the second quarter, Ingram scored on the run and turned to face the crowd.
Fruge said “He pointed at us and we were thinking ‘Holy crap! He’s coming!”
Packers fans have coined the 'leap phrase' when players make crowd jumps at Lambeau Field, but they’re usually only made by Green Bay players. When asked if it was premeditated, 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.
The Saints defeated the Packers 26-17. It was a game Fruge says he’ll never forget.