Christmas Eve. Another tear soaked press conference at the Colts training facility. But this time, they were tears of joy. And appreciation. And relief.
Head Coach Chuck Pagano officially returned to coaching after undergoing treatment for leukemia. His thank you list was long: Owner Jim Irsay, General Manager Ryan Grigson, Interim Coach Bruce Arians, the team, the media (yes, seriously), and the public.
“I can’t imagine being anywhere else and having a city and a community embrace somebody they hardly know. I just think that’s how we roll in this great state and this great city and this great community.” -Chuck Pagano
Yep. That’s how we roll.
And with that, all my Colts fan Christmas wishes were answered. The Colts are in the playoffs. Chuck Pagano is back. The future is bright. Heck, the future is better than bright…the future is now! Yes, we could use a few offensive linemen and another running back, but I’m sure Santa (aka Jim Irsay) will bring them in the offseason.
Still, our young team banded together and won 10 games so far. Ten! Forget rebuilding. That was so last season. This team is all about moving forward. Breaking records. And winning games. Big games. Even championships.
They are young. They are inexperienced. They were without their coach and the heart of their team for twelve games. The Colts are a lot of things. But they are not victims.
“Circumstances, they don’t make you. I talked about it a long time ago. They don’t make you, they reveal you.” -Chuck Pagano
Chuck Pagano is back. And he returns to coach his team’s last game against the Texans on Sunday. Then he will take them on the road to their first playoff game, possibly against his former team, the Baltimore Ravens.
But first, he can start by turning off the light in his office. Welcome back, Coach.
Merry Christmas to all…and to all a good night!