Of all the twists and turns that the Chuck Pagano story has taken during this remarkable season, this might be the most unexpected.
He has made the Colts — those late-night escapees from Baltimore three decades ago — admired, if not downright respected, in the city now owned by the Ravens.
Oh sure, Baltimore fans still will be slinging barbs at Indy and its players as the two square off in an AFC wild-card game Sunday.
But a chapter has been turned in this rivalry, and Pagano is largely the reason.
“He’s like a dad to me,” free safety Ed Reed told the Baltimore Sun about Pagano, his former position coach with the Ravens and at the University of Miami (Fla.). “That’s family, which is first before football.”
Indeed, Pagano has a big family, one that includes not just those in the Colts’ locker room but many more around the NFL.