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Fans return football that Robert Meachem caught for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals

New Orleans Saints receiver gave the fans autographed footballs

Saturday is Robert Meachem's 29th birthday and the New Orleans Saints wideout received a very special gift.

Last Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, Meachem caught a 27-yard touchdown in the first quarter, his first since returning to the Saints.

Meachem stuck with his tradition from his previous stint with the black and gold and tossed the football into the stands.

After the game, Meachem said he regretted tossing the football because the score meant a lot to him.  

"It felt so good to score," Meachem said after Sunday's game. "I was kind of mad at myself because I had a ritual when I was here. I used to toss the ball underhand to the fans. I really should have kept that ball. That ball meant a lot to me, but some fan got it."

Maurice Lightfoot caught the ball Meachem tossed into the stands and gave it to Sr. Marie Bertrand SSF, who was sitting right in front of him.

Last Thursday, Bertrand called the Saints and said she wanted to return the ball to Meachem.

The Saints invited Bertrand and Lightfoot to the team's facility Saturday and after practice the two met Meachem and returned the football.

In exchange, Meachem gave both Bertrand and Lightfoot an autographed football.


"When Meachem threw the ball in the stands, I caught it but then it fell in sister Bertrand's seat," Lightfoot said. "I said 'ya know what – I don't fight with God.' I told Sister Bertrand she could have the ball."

After the game, Bertrand's fellow sisters told her about Meachem's postgame press conference.

"When I heard about it, I told one of the sisters to look up how I can get the ball to him," Bertrand said. "I am glad he has it now."

Meachem was very grateful for the returned football in what became the highlight of his 29th birthday.

"Not many people would bring that football back," Meachem said. "For her to come today on my birthday, it was a nice gift. I am very appreciative and it's very humbling."

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