Bruce Arians figured he had answered all the questions at Sunday’s postgame press conference.
Then, with the interim coach about to step away from the podium and out the room’s back door, a media member inquired about Colts head coach Chuck Pagano.
At first, a split second of silent uneasiness. Then Arians, usually the personification of old-school no-nonsense, flashed a wide smile.
“Great news. Coach Pagano celebrated this win at home. He was at the house, released (from the hospital) and we’re really excited about that. That’s probably as big as the win today,” Arians said. “I’m sure he’s feeling great right about now.
“Hopefully, he didn’t get too doggone exhausted coaching from the bedroom.”
Sunday’s win against Cleveland means Arians now has two victories as an NFL head coach compared to Pagano’s one. To the organization’s credit, however, no one affiliated with the Colts, be it closely, loosely or moderately, is even remotely tempted to view it this way.
From the moment word came down that Pagano was battling leukemia, employees and fans alike grabbed hold of the all-for-one mindset and ran with it. Sprinted, actually. Pagano might be fighting, but, by golly, he wouldn’t be fighting alone.