Indianapolis Coach Chuck Pagano is on medical leave battling a treatable… (Sam Riche / McClatchy-Tribune )
Indianapolis Colts Coach Chuck Pagano, who is hospitalized as he battles a treatable form of leukemia, sent a letter to the team this week asking them to play in an attempt to even their record at 2-2 rather than dedicate the game to him.
Owner Jim Irsay told the players that he wanted a victory over the Green Bay Packers so he could deliver the game ball to Pagano, but the coach was having none of it.
"We all have a job to do," Pagano wrote in the letter that was released by the club during the game. "We know and understand that. That's why we signed up for it. We knew there were going to be tough times. This is not for everybody, but I know deep in my heart we are all here because we're supposed to be.
"Focus on being 500 by 4:30pm on Sunday. Nothing else. LASER SHARPE FOCUS. That has to be our mind set."
OK, so he could use some help with punctuation and spelling. You can read the letter below. The man does know how to motivate.
[Update, 1:50 p.m.: Andrew Luck passed for 362 yards and two touchdowns, including a four-yard strike to Reggie Wayne in the final minute, and ran for another to lead the Colts to a 30-27 victory over the Packers.]
Dear Colts Family,
On behalf of the Pagano Family, we want to say thank you for all the love and support that you have shown. We can never repay you, but just know that we Love you all and we will always have your backs. We could not get through this without all of you!
All the cards, notes, texts, emails have all been read and digested. It's overwhelming. But right on time.
We will all be better in the long run. Thanks to all the survivors and your personal stories. They are truly inspiring. I know I will beat this, and hearing all the special success stories make the days much better!
You know I am going crazy in here, but nobody understands process better than all of us Colts.
My condition will not determine my position. I understand the condition but choose to focus on my position. That is to stay positive and SERVE.
WE WILL, WE CAN, WE MUST. WE HAVE NO CHOICE. BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. WE WILL OVERCOME.
IT'S ALL IN THE PROPER STATE OF MIND.
There is no better owner in the NFL, period! He has built an organization based on Faith, Family and Football. Don't ever mistake the ORDER.
We all have a job to do. We know and understand that. That's why we signed up for it. We knew there were going to be tough times. This is not for everybody, but I know deep in my heart we are all here because we're supposed to be.
Focus on being 500 by 4:30pm on Sunday. Nothing else. LASER SHARPE FOCUS. That has to be our mind set.
60 minutes, all you got, one play at a time!
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