INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The Colts started the week with words like “shock” and “devastated” all around, and they ended it on “elation” and “greatest win ever.”
“It was very emotional,” said interim head coach Bruce Arians. “A lot of tears, a lot of joy, a lot of pride.”
With Pagano sidelined in the hospital, he made sure players knew he was with them. On Friday, he sent the team an email, telling them not to play for him, but to play to win.
The note read, “Focus on being .500 by 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. Nothing else. LASER SHARPE FOCUS. That has to be our mind set.”
It was clear, however, after the game, everyone was doing it for Pagano.
“We wanted to play for him,” said running back Donald Brown. “He built this thing, and we’re going to continue to build a monster for him.”
“I think everyone was lying all week,” added Andrew Luck. “I think we all went out there wanting to do it for Chuck more than anything else, and to see the emotions on Mr. Irsay and BA’s face, I’m glad to be a part of it. I think it’s certainly one of the greatest athletic moments I’ve been a part of.”
Arians had barely stepped on the podium to speak to the media after the game, and Colts owner Jim Irsay was already on his way to the hospital, giving Coach Pagano one of the best gifts he could deliver - a game ball.