The Indianapolis Colts may have thought they left it all on the field during close win against Miami on Sunday, but they had plenty of emotions to unleash in the locker room after their head coach delivered an emotional postgame message that included references to his daughters’ future weddings.
Coach Chuck Pagano, who has been receiving treatment for leukemia since being diagnosed on Sept. 26, delivered both pregame and postgame messages that some players said brought out tears.
“I mentioned before the game that you guys were living in a vision, and you weren’t living in circumstances,” Pagano said, surrounded by his players and interim coach Bruce Arians standing at his side after the Colts’ third straight win.
“You know where they had us in the beginning, every last one of them. But you refused to live in circumstances and you decided consciously as a team and as a family to live in a vision, and that’s why you bring things home like what you bring home today. That’s why you’re already champions and well on your way,” he said.
“I’ve got circumstances. You guys understand it, I understand it,” Pagano added. “It’s already beat. It’s already beat. My vision that I’m living is to see two more daughters get married, dance at their weddings and then lift the Lombardi Trophy several times. I’m dancing at two more weddings and we’re hoisting that trophy together, men. Congratulations, I love all of you.”
The Colts have now won more than twice as many games in half a season as they did in 16 games last year.
Pagano wasn’t forgotten on the field, either. Receiver Reggie Wayne traded high-fives with fans right above the “Chuckstrong” sign in the south end zone after scoring a 9-yard touchdown.
“His presence is felt every day in the facility,” Colts rookie phenom quarterback Andrew Luck said. “But to see him in the flesh, in the locker room, to hear him speak I think gave all the guys a boost.”
You can watch another version of the speech below:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.