INDIANAPOLIS – Those orange gloves.
Something about those orange gloves of Reggie Wayne.
Andrew Luck couldn't take his eyes away from them and the football was sticking to them.
The gloves of Wayne back on Oct. 7, 2012, dazzled.
They helped deliver the game ball a few miles way to Colts' head coach Chuck Pagano, who was at the IU Simon Cancer Center, days after being diagnosed with leukemia.
It was a small victory, considering the fight facing Pagano.
But it brought joy to the man they loved.
"I couldn't be prouder of a group of guys in all my life," a choked up Bruce Arians, the interim coach for Pagano in 2012, said after the Colts erased an 18-point halftime deficit in beating the Green Bay Packers, 30-27.
It was time for Jim Irsay to speak to his team.
"I've never been so proud of a group of guys that came together," an emotional Irsay said.
"We know what kind of man we have just down the street in the hospital fighting, fighting for his life. And winning the fight. You guys doing this today and pulling together, Bruce coming in, Reggie being so close to Chuck, everyone in here knows how much this means. This ball is going right down the street."
A look back on the Colts going into halftime down 21-3 and walking into that joyous home locker room, 30-27 winners in the first game without their head coach.
- Wearing pins with initials 'CP' on them, the Colts' coaching staff had a week unlike any other in returning from their bye to the news their head coach had been diagnosed with leukemia. What waited in their first game back? Arguably the best team in the NFL, the Green Bay Packers.
- Both teams wore CHUCKSTRONG t-shirts in wramups before an unforgettable game kicked off.
- Reggie Wayne, who donned orange gloves for Pagano that Sunday, had 12 catches for a career-high 212 yards. Wayne had six catches for 90 yards in the fourth quarter alone, with his go-go gadget game-winning touchdown still an indelible image in Colts' lore.
- Andrew Luck was 31-of-55 for 362 yards and after a touchdown run from No. 12, he went over to offer a hand pat of a 'CHUCKSTRONG' sign on the wall just past the end zone.
- The win started a 9-3 tenure for Bruce Arians, clinching a Wild Card berth, before Pagano came back in Week 17 of 2012.
Here are some quotes from this week looking back on a game no Colts' fan will ever forget:
Andrew Luck: "I do remember (that whole week) was weird. It was bizarre in a sense. I think the gravity of the situation hit guys maybe at different times. You have BA (Bruce Arians) stand up there and tell you that Chuck's (Pagano) sick and is in the hospital and then you have a doctor come into a team meeting, which is unprecedented in my career, and tell you what he's going through. But it didn't hit me then. I remember it hitting me when I walked out to practice and Coach Pagano wasn't there, 'Ok this is real life,' you know. It certainly provided a lot of perspective I think on football, on life and just thankful that Coach is healthy really at the end of the day."Chuck Pagano: "I was heavily dosed up on meds so I don't remember anything other than the final. Blame it on Dilaudid – it's pretty good stuff (laughs). The team was feeling pain at half but I wasn't. It was a different team (in the second half). It was a great win. One of the great comebacks by this team and that locker room by those players that are still here. That's what it is, it's a great memory, but I certainly had nothing to do with it."Aaron Rodgers:"I know there were a number of us wearing the 'CHUCKSTRONG' t-shirts. Unfortunately, I remember the outcome. We started off fast and had things going and turned the ball over a couple times in the second half and they got back into it and beat us. I believe it was Andrew's (Luck) first year I think he put up 400 yards passing or something like that. But yeah, I remember that and the atmosphere. This league is a connected league, when a coach or player deals with something much like you saw with (Eric) Berry last year on Kansas City, they have a big support system in the league and it was great to see Chuck (Pagano) beat it and obviously Eric come back and play so well last year after his battle with cancer. It is good to see those guys doing better."Mike McCarthy: "It hit home for all of us. I can recall being in a meeting on Friday and I was talking to one of our vice presidents, Russ Ball, and he made me aware of the purchasing of the t-shirts and what it was for and the idea of us purchasingt t-shirts for our players for the pregame. I addressed it in the team meeting and everybody was excited about it. I think it just shows you the solidarity of the National Football League, it is a family and I think it hit home for everybody, not only what he was dealing with and when. That's probably the one positive thing I remember about that game because it didn't end up very well. It was definitely a game that changed momentum and they obviously won it there in the end. I am just glad to see Chuck doing very well."