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With Pagano watching from afar, Colts grab first win under Arians at Packer

Oct. 8, 2012
 

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay pulled some strings to make sure head coach Chuck Pagano was able to watch Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers from his hospital room at IU Health Simon Cancer Center.

With ‘Chuckstrong’ T-shirts and signs peppered throughout the statdium, Pagano watched as his Colts rallied from an 18-point halftime deficit under interim coach Bruce Arians to knock off the Packers 30-27.

Pagano, who has been hospitalized since Sept. 26 after being diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia, was in his first year as the Colts’ head coach and standing at the front of the franchise’s rebuilding efforts after last year’s 2-14 debacle.

With first-overall pick Andrew Luck guiding the way, the Colts jumped to 2-2 on the season after outscoring the Packers 27-6 in the final 30 minutes to pull the upset.

“All is good,” the Indianapolis Colts coach wrote in an email response to The Indianapolis Star before Sunday’s game. “Best care in the world. These people do so much for so many.

“Most selfless people I know. Thanks to all at IUH!!”

As for the Packers, they’re left with a bitter aftertaste once again after losing a controversial 14-12 game to the Seattle Seahawks of a last-second hail mary from quarterback Russell Wilson to Golden Tate that turned out to be the final straw in the NFL’s replacement referee experiment.

In a nice show of support before the game, many of the Packers, including Randall Cobb and Charles Woodson, wore “Chuckstrong” T-shirts in the same design as the Colts, but only in Packers’ colors.

“I give credit to the Colts. I thought they played well,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “Obviously, a tough week for them. They played with a lot of emotion, energy, but frankly, I’m more focused on my football team and my football team is not playing the way we’re capable of playing. I feel like we underachieved to be frank and that starts with me. That’s my responsibility.”

Unless the two teams meet in the Super Bowl, it’s the last regular-season game between the Packers and Colts until 2016.

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

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