In an emotional win for his Indianapolis Colts, owner Jim Irsay said it was something he’s never experienced before. His team rallied late to defeat the powerhouse Green Bay Packers with a rookie quarterback, a reliable veteran wide receiver and heavy hearts for their head coach, Chuck Pagano who was diagnosed with a treatable form of Leukemia.
“In my 40 years in this business, I’ve never been prouder of a team and how they battled back,” Irsay said via NFL.com. “I’ve been in a lot of winning locker rooms, Super Bowl locker rooms, but I’ve never had an experience like this. People talk about money, what the team is worth, those kinds of things, but this was priceless. Absolutely priceless. We walked in, he (Pagano) got up, we all embraced and shed some tears and Chuck said, ‘You know I don’t feel so sick right now.'”
The win was a story for the ages yesterday, a great story. Pagano sat in the hospital and watched the monster he helped build.
There was a few clutch plays from QB Andrew Luck and WR Reggie Wayne to set up the win. They deserved a game ball – but this game was more than a game, it was a coming-together party for a team that is CHUCKSTRONG. A game ball was indeed to be given out, but not to a player. This game ball went to Coach Pagano as he sat in his hospital room, delivered by Jim Irsay.
Emotional locker room,n driving to Coach at hospital,Game Ball resting on car seat;I entered his room;hugs n tears n God’s light was REAL!!
— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) October 8, 2012
“You know, you see things in the movie, but oftentimes, life isn’t as beautiful as they make it out to be,” Irsay said. “But this went way past that. This was the stuff of movies. This was beautiful. That’s as excited and animated as I’ve seen Chuck. I’ll never forget the look on his face when we walked in with the game ball. We’ll all treasure this moment forever.”
This was one for the ages, and what a memory it will be for the guys that came together as a team for one cause – to be CHUCKSTRONG.