Presence of Leukemia-diagnosed coach inspires Colts win

Published On November 5, 2012 | By Kimberly Petalas

For the first time since he was diagnosed with Leukemia, Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano finally made it to a game. He had not been present at a game since early October.

This is Pagano’s first year coaching the Colts, and he will begin his second round of chemotherapy later this week.

Not only was he present at the game, he also gave an inspiring post-game speech to the team.

“It’s already beat,” he told the team, referring to his Leukemia. “My vision is to see two more daughters get married and to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.”

His speech and presence in the locker room was a breath of fresh air for many of the players.

“You can’t measure how much that lifts a team,” Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney said. “To see the look on his face, especially before the game and definitely after the game, was priceless. It’s bigger than football.”

“As a team, we know that probably his best medicine is for us to continue to win,” said receiver Reggie Wayne.

“The goal is to get Chuck on the field December 30th,” interim coach Bruce Arians told SI’s Peter King. “I don’t know if it can happen, but that’s the goal.”

The Colts ended their locker room session with a new war cry, “Chuck on three! One-two-three CHUCK!”

The Colts showed how inspired they were by winning their game against the Miami Dolphins on November 4 with a score of 23 to 20.

Watch all of Pagano’s locker room speech here.

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About The Author

Kimberly graduated from Hofstra University in December 2012. She has been a sports fan her whole life and grew up around sports, whether it was playing or watching them. She started her writing career interning for her local newspaper, The Gardner News, where she currently works as a reporter. In college, Kimberly wrote for Long Island Report, as well as Her Campus Hofstra.