Colts Coach Chuck Pagano Returns to Lucas Oil Stadium
What. A. Year. And it’s not over yet…
At this time last year, the Colts’ season was over. It had been for some time. The future was uncertain. We didn’t even know who would lead the team into the future.
Jim Irsay faced heavy criticism for cleaning house. How do you fire Bill Polian? The so-called mastermind behind the Peyton Manning Colts? Along with Peyton Manning? And the coaching staff? And the other veteran players? They said you can’t change everything at once. They said the Colts were done for three to five years. At least. They said a lot of things.
One year later. The Colts are a new team from top to bottom. People didn’t think they would win five games. They lost five games this season…lost! They never lost two in a row. And they are in the playoffs. All that…after losing Head Coach Chuck Pagano, the heart of the team, for the heart of the season.
This team is young, hot, and on a roll. Last week’s game against the Texans was meaningless for the Colts. But did they dial it back? Rest their starters? Not a chance! That was the old Colts. Let the Jim Caldwell-led Ravens offense rest their starters (they did). That’s not the Colts way, not anymore. That’s not ColtStrong…and it’s certainly not ChuckStrong.
They came, they played, they won. This team knows no fear. Well, they do have one fear…losing.
“When you catch fire and you get hot, anything can happen.”
When Coach Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia during week four, the team made a promise…to extend the season for him. So that he could come back and take them to the playoffs. And Pagano vowed to be here to take them. They both kept their promises.
And so, the fairy tale continues.
“We’re still writing our story.”
I am prouder of this team than I have been of any Colts team, including the one that won the Superbowl. I will be proud when the season ends…no matter where and no matter how.
But I’ll wait to write my finish until they’re done writing theirs.
Don’t believe in fairy tales? Tell that to the 2012-2013 Indianapolis Colts.
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