We're now at the one year mark since Colts head coach Chuck Pagano went to the hospital to have some bruises on his legs looked at only to be told by doctors that he had leukemia. Pagano was then forced to take an immediate leave of absence from the team, undergo isolation chemotherapy, and deal with all of the painful physical and emotional side effects that often result.
The Colts turned Pagano's illness into a rallying cry, affectionately re-tagging the team slogan "ChuckStrong" from the marketing term "ColtsStrong" that they had been using to start the 2012 season. Indianapolis won 9 of their next 12 games and secured a spot in the playoffs before Pagano was able to return to the team and coach from the sidelines.
It is both appropriate and warming that Pagano can mark the one-year anniversary of his cancer diagnosis immediately following THE most important win of his young head coaching career.
Right or wrong, fair or unfair, the reality last year was that the Colts could win without Pagano, and compounding the situation even more was Pagano's friend and replacement during his medical leave, Bruce Arians, was awarded NFL Coach of the Year in 2012 for the work he did guiding the Colts to a 9-3 record sans Pagano. For Pagano to beat Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers so convincingly the week before the one-year anniversary of his cancer diagnosis had to have been especially satisfying.
However, nothing is as satisfying as seeing Pagano healthy, active, and living his life.
There are other, better-written articles that provide more insight into Pagano's life as he continues to fight cancer while coaching in the NFL. Take the time to read them, please: