The 2012-2013 Indianapolis Colts
I admit it. I wanted the fairy tale ending. I wanted the Colts to come together…powered by #ChuckStrong and with a little bit of luck…and ride that white horse all the way to the Super Bowl. It didn’t happen. A big black raven got in the way and derailed our journey.
But you know what? It’s alright. Maybe it wasn’t a fairy tale, but it was a storybook season for the 2012-2013 Indianapolis Colts nonetheless.
Peyton Manning (AP)
The season started without our white knight. The guy we could always count on to defend the horseshoe. The city was still heartbroken. In his place…a gang of lovable rookies, short on experience and long on potential. We still had some heroes though: Reggie Wayne, Robert Mathis, Dwight Freeney. But could they even be effective?
Our poor, disrespected Colts weren’t given a chance at all. They were last on the NFL power ranking…32 out of 32 teams. They were only expected to win two or three games all season. No one was going to invite them to the dance…much less the ball.
The first battle went as expected. The Colts went into Chicago for the season debut and were beat up by the Bears. There was the home opener…a comeback win against the Vikings. Followed by a stunning last-minute loss to the Jaguars. And then there was the bye week. Coach Pagano’s leukemia diagnosis. #ChuckStrong became the team mantra. And the magic started to happen…
#ChuckStrong Banner in Lucas Oil Stadium (Indy Star)
Whether it was luck, will, or divine intervention (or a combination of the three), the Colts overcame. All season long. They won eleven games, went 7-1 at home, and never lost two games in a row. They shaved their heads. They carried the fans and the fans carried them. Together, they healed their broken-hearted city and their sick coach. And along the way, those young players became men.
In the end, they were all heroes. Every, single one of them. But most of all, the guy who led them. In spirit. From his hospital bed.
Coach Chuck Pagano and Interim Coach Bruce Arians (ESPN)
And so…it’s The End. We turn the page on this chapter of Colts history. The white horse rides off for now. But fear not. Weep not. For this end is only a beginning.
The fairy tale has just begun…
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