John Kasay thanked the media for the manner in which we covered him. His voice even cracked. To a person we told him that the pleasure was ours. We weren't being nice. We were being honest.
Kasay, who officially retired Tuesday after 15 years kicking for the Panthers, and after the Panthers, for New Orleans, was always a gentleman. He didn't seek attention. He avoided it. But when he had a rare bad game, he stood in front of his locker and answered questions. He accepted criticism and deflected praise.
This will tell you a little about him. When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, Kasay asked me how I was doing, and still does. He did Tuesday.Kasay, who has four children, is deeply religious. When he was traded to New Orleans, he rented a house there.I asked him after a game what his favorite French Quarter haunts were.
"Seriously?" he asked.
I wasn't serious and he wasn't, either. We both knew he was not looking for a good blues bar off Bourbon Street.
Many teammates and former teammates showed up at Bank of America Stadium to say farewell to Kasay, who is the athletic director at Charlotte Christian. Among them were Steve Smith, Jordan Gross, Ryan Kalil, J.J. Jansen and Kevin Donnalley.
Said one of the players: "That's the leg of the Lord right there."
It was a good thing to say.