And Wayne probably has played in few games more emotional than the one Sunday, days after Coach Chuck Pagano announced he would be entering the hospital to undergo treatment for leukemia.
“I've got 12 years of [special] games,” said Wayne, who has known Pagano since the two were at the University of Miami in the late 1990s. “But this did mean a lot, just with the whole deal with how the week's been going. You know, I talked to Coach Pagano and he wanted us to win so bad. Is it a high? Yeah. I don't necessarily have one other than the Super Bowl game. But it's up there.”
Wayne even obtained a special pair of orange gloves to wear in his coach's honor after learning that was the color for leukemia awareness.
“I just wanted to do something, you know, for Chuck,” Wayne explained. “I had some equipment guys make some calls. If [NFL officials] fine me, they fine me. I really feel like that would be a terrible thing to do, but if so, so be it, I'll go ahead and take the fine and do it for Chuck.”
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Wayne would not be fined for the non-regulation gloves. Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck probably is happy to hear that -- particularly if that means his top receiver might be wearing them again.
“I think the orange gloves were everywhere,” Luck said of Wayne's productivity. ” I felt like there were eight pairs of those out there on the field. I told [Wayne] after the game he was the best football player I’ve ever played with. His leadership at halftime, on the field, before the last drive, I think I learned a lot from him from watching him operate. I’m very fortunate and blessed to be on a team with him.”