I am a big Indianapolis Colts fan. Even though I am not from the state and have never even visited Indiana, they are my favorite NFL team. I was introduced to them through my wife (nope, not from the state nor has she visited as well) and at some point I will probably explain our love for the team, but for now I wanted to talk a little about their current head coach’s memoir Sidelined: Overcoming Odds Through Unity, Passion, and Perseverance.
In 2012 Chuck Pagano was hired as the Colts new head coach after a tumultuous season of only 2 wins for the franchise and the loss of one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Peyton Manning, to the Denver Broncos. There was optimism though since they received the top draft pick that year which turned into Andrew Luck. With a mostly new team coming off a poor season they needed a coach who could quickly turn things around and Pagano was the man for the job.
The season started slightly shaky, but looked promising until Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia. It hit the franchise, the fans, and all of the NFL very hard. Despite losing their head coach for most of the season the team still finished 11-5 and made the wild card round of the NFL playoffs under interim head coach Bruce Arians (who also won Coach of the Year for his team’s success).
Pagano came back from his fight with leukemia with a major victory over the disease and has coached the team to the playoffs the past 2 years.
This book covers his hiring by the Colts and his battle with cancer. It is filled with tremendous inspiration and is a book that should be read not just by football fans, but by anyone who has battled cancer or has a loved one who has dealt with the disease as well. It is well told and will leave you in tears on a few occasions. It is a quick read, but well written.
I cannot recommend this book enough. For anyone who watched the story unfold that year this is a great in depth telling of what went on behind the scenes and is truly inspirational.