Colts players shave heads in support of coach

Published On November 7, 2012 | By Meredith Perri

With their head coach in the midst of his second round of chemotherapy, players on the Indianapolis Colts decided to shave their heads in support after they finished practice on Tuesday.

Colts first year coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia on Oct. 1, and while his cancer is in remission, he is not expected to resume his role as head coach this season. Nonetheless, the Colts are hopeful that as his second round of chemotherapy comes to an end, he will have the strength to increase his involvement with the team. The Colts also hope he will be on the sideline for a game by the end of the season.

Yesterday afternoon, Jim Irsay, the Colts owner, sent out a tweet indicating that some of the players had shaved their heads.

Earlier in the day, Colts long snapper Matt Overton sent out a series of tweets with the hashtag #TeamCHUCKSTRONG. The first of his tweets read, “Here we go!!!! #BaldIsSexy #CHUCKSTRONG.”

Overton followed up that tweet with a before and after shot of teammate and punter Pat McAfee.

By the end of the day, the Indianapolis Star reported that more than two dozen players and support-staff personnel had shaved their heads for Pagano.

David Thornton, the director of player engagement, got the trend going after the Colts’ practice on Tuesday. Thornton had a barber waiting for the players as they came off the field.

“It’s all for Chuck,” McAfee said. “We all don’t look good. I’m not built to have a bald head. I’ve got a huge sniffer.

“But we all love our coach so much that we want to show unity and let people know we’re all in this together. It’s a really cool thing.”

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About The Author

Meredith is a junior journalism student at Boston University. She has covered nearly every sport for The Daily Free Press, BU’s independent student newspaper, but mainly writes about women’s hockey. Meredith has also covered Major League Baseball as an intern with SNY and Follow her on Twitter at @mere579.