INDIANAPOLIS – He had the look of the coolest, calmest, cat inside the city limits of Denver.
With an unlit stogie in his mouth and shades covering his eyes from the darkening sky, Sam Pagano's outside appearance was probably the exact opposite of what his son was feeling on the inside.
Chuck Pagano, Sam's son, was immersed in the biggest game of his young head coaching career.
Sam was situated on the Colts sidelines, watching, observing, looking like he had no dog in the fight.
Don't let that look fool you, though.
When the gun sounded in Denver following the Colts 24-13 win, father and son shared a long embrace, somehow adding to the thrill of making a conference championship game.
"To be able to sit there and win a ball game like that, and have your dad standing on the sidelines and be able to enjoy that, and share that with my mom and my dad and my sister and my nephews, coming back home, it's pretty special," the Colts head coach said immediately following the Colts win.
At the age of 75, Sam will stay back in Boulder this weekend but that doesn't mean he wants his days of gracing NFL sidelines this season to end anytime soon.
"Hope to meet (Chuck) in Arizona," Sam told 1070 The Fan on Wednesday of a possible Super Bowl XLIX trip in two weeks.
As one of the winningest coaches in Colorado High School Football History, Sam now gets his pigskin fix by watching Chuck and his other son, John (San Diego Chargers Defensive Coordinator), coach a game that means so much to the Pagano's.
Chuck said on Thursday that he would be foolish if he didn't bounce ideas off his father.
While Sam was as straight faced as a statue last Sunday, his son showed a tad more emotion in the Colts first playoff road victory since 2007.
When Chuck's first head coaching job matriculated with the Colts in 2012, Sam knew why his son was being pursued by Indianapolis.
"He has great relationships with his players and I think that's one of the most important things," Sam said earlier this week.
"I think he's really patient. He's got patience and can watch every thing develop in front of him.
On Sunday, Sam will watch from his home in Boulder, Colorado knowing that a late January trip to Arizona could be in the cards.
If Chuck and Sam had it their way, Sunday's moment in Denver will not be the lasting one of the 2014 season.
"It's why you sacrifice, why you give up everything that you give up, and what our family's sacrifice is—for a moment like this," Pagano said in Denver.
"To be able to share it in a place where I was born and raised and to have my dad there and my wife there is pretty darn special. No need for words, just the passion in the embrace was all, nothing needed to be said, that's how special it was."
A candid look inside the Colts locker room following their Divisional Playoff win over the Broncos.