‘Colts Declassified’ spotlights untold stories from the 2012 Chuckstrong game featuring Chuck Pagano, Bruce Arians, Reggie Wayne and Andrew Luck

On Monday, Oct. 1, 2012, Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay announced shocking news to his team: their head coach, Chuck Pagano, was being treated for leukemia at IU Health Simon Cancer Center.

Irsay then gave the Colts a directive: “Bruce (Arians) is going to take over, we’re going to beat the Packers and we’re going to get the game ball back to Chuck in the hospital.”

Ten years later, Arians recalled his reaction.

“I’m like,” Arians said, “really, bro?”

The latest edition of “Colts Declassified” tells the stories – including the ones you’ve never heard – of before, during and after the Colts’ memorable victory over the Green Bay Packers, with their head coach at the Hospital on Oct. 7, 2012. Colts Productions sat down with Arians, Pagano, wide receiver Reggie Wayne and quarterback Andrew Luck for some eye-opening and emotional conversations about this game, including:

  • How Pagano found out he had cancer
  • How Wayne Got His Legendary Orange Gloves
  • Pagano’s reaction to seeing all the support for his battle at Lucas Oil Stadium
  • Why Luck’s first game pass was so symbolic
  • What pushed the Colts to erase a 21-3 halftime deficit
  • Wayne’s thought process on career day and the game-winning touchdown
  • What the victory meant for Pagano

Some highlights of Colts Productions conversations for the play:

Chuck Pagano: “We were going crazy, Tina and I. Can you believe that? Can you believe that they did this thing? You couldn’t write a better script. And it’s like, okay , we’ll be fine. We’ll be fine, they’ll be fine. It’s from there.”

Bruce Ariens: “I started crying when the last second passed and I didn’t stop crying until I got home.”

Andrew Luck, on Reggie Wayne’s orange gloves: “It was such an important gesture as a way to have a coach on the pitch with us and there with us in the huddle, making plays, breaking tackles, getting hit, getting up. So those gloves, gosh , represented so much . They were almost like a superpower.”

Reggie Wayne, how to call the game“I’ll take anything as long as you have Chuck in there. As long as Chuck is in there, I’m fine. Nothing else really matters.”

Watch “Colts Declassified: Chuckstrong” and find previous editions of “Colts Declassified” by clicking here.

Robert M. Larson