Pagano's spirit powers team to winning season




INDIANAPOLIS

It’s not uncommon for a football team to adorn helmets with some sort of sticker intended to pay tribute.

The Indiana-polis Colts don’t need a miniaturized likeness of head coach Chuck Pagano on their headwear. Not in the back. Not above the top of the facemask. And certainly not between the sides of the blue horseshoe.

Whether the leukemia-stricken coach is attending a game in person, he’s there. Always. It’s a team on a mission. That mission being an endeavor to become immersed in playoff football in early January so that their 52-year-old coach is on the sideline where he belongs.

Stand a few feet from interim head coach Bruce Arians during a a postgame press conference, and the intensity he demonstrates is unavoidable. It’s not that the Colts want to do this for Chuck, more along the lines that the Colts will do this for Chuck.

“It’s all 53 guys for one common cause, and that’s to extend this season for Chuck,” Arians said late Sunday afternoon following his team’s 20-13 defeat of Buffalo. “Our guys are playing their tails off. Chuck’s illness has bonded our football team and our coaching staff because we’re going to do this for him.”

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