On Monday, Oct. 1, 2012, Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay delivered stunning news to his team: Their head coach, Chuck Pagano, was being treated for Leukemia at IU Health Simon Cancer Center.
Irsay then delivered a directive to the Colts: "Bruce (Arians) is gonna take over, we're gonna beat the Packers and we're gonna take the game ball down to Chuck at the hospital."
Ten years later, Arians recalled his reaction.
"I'm like," Arians said, "really, bro?"
The latest edition of "Colts Declassified" tells the stories – including ones you've never heard – from before, during and after the Colts' memorable win over the Green Bay Packers, with their head coach in the hospital, on Oct. 7, 2012. Colts Productions sat down with Arians, Pagano, wide receiver Reggie Wayne and quarterback Andrew Luck for revealing, emotional conversations about that game, including:
- How Pagano found out he had cancer
- How Wayne got his legendary orange gloves
- Pagano's reaction to seeing all the support for his battle at Lucas Oil Stadium
- Why Luck's first pass of the game was so symbolic
- What pushed the Colts to erase a 21-3 halftime deficit
- Wayne's thought process on career day and game-winning touchdown
- What the win meant for Pagano
Some highlights from Colts Productions' conversations for the piece:
Chuck Pagano: "We were going crazy, Tina and I. Can you ***ing believe that? Can you believe they got this thing done? You couldn't write a better script. And it's like, okay, everything's going to be okay. We're going to be okay, they're going to be okay. It just went from there."
Bruce Arians: "I started crying when the last second went off and I didn't stop crying until I went home."
Andrew Luck, on Reggie Wayne's orange gloves: "It was such an important gesture as a way to have coach out on the field with us and there with us in the huddle, making plays, breaking tackles, getting hit, getting back up. So those gloves, gosh, represented so much. They were almost like a superpower."
Reggie Wayne, on what to call the game: "I'll take all of it as long as you got Chuck in there. As long as Chuck's in there I'm good. Nothing else really matters."
Watch "Colts Declassified: Chuckstrong" and catch up on previous editions of "Colts Declassified" by clicking here.