The thrill of a third-straight victory for the Indianapolis Colts was quickly swept away momentarily by a monumental return of their head coach Chuck Pagano. Pagano attended his first Colts game since week three in mid-September, and met his team in the locker room after the 23-20 victory over the Miami Dolphins at Lucas Oil Stadium. Making his first public appearance since beginning leukemia treatment, Pagano delivered a emotional congratulations to his team, which (at 5-3) is now directly in the AFC playoff picture.
On Monday, Pagano began a second round of chemotherapy treatment. News also spread that, even though Pagano will continue to receive therapy to eliminate the possibility of any remaining cancerous cells, his cancer is in remission. “I got circumstances,” Pagano said to his team after Sunday’s game. “You guys understand it. I understand it. It’s already beat. It’s already beat.”
Pagano’s words and his valiant battle against this illness have inspired his team and their city. Many people can relate to the fight that the Colts’ head coach has been going through, and will continue to deal with. This franchise and their fan base has rallied not just around their coach, but around his cause, and it is a sobering (but uplifting) reality that there are many battles in life that are much more serious than the ones on the football field.