The Colts’ stunning 30-27 win over the Packers has plenty of story lines. Leave it to Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports to dig up a new one.
Silver reports that receiver Reggie Wayne, who generated a career-high 212 receiving yards on Sunday, overcame “severe cramps” during the final drive of Sunday’s game.
But that’s what a guy sometimes does when trying to achieve a greater goal.
“We wanted to win this for Chuck [Pagano] so bad,” Wayne told Silver. “At halftime we were so pissed off at each other. We didn’t play up to par. We didn’t play like a team that was hungry. We challenged each other, got in each others’ faces, said, ‘Hey, let’s be accountable to each other. Let’s trust each other to go out and perform the way we know we can.'”
Trust is the key word. It’s what helped keep Wayne in Indianapolis, thanks to a relationship with Coach Pagano that started 16 years ago, when Pagano was the receivers coach at the University of Miami and Wayne was a freshman wideout on the team.
“I was at home in Miami getting ready for free agency, my kids running around, nothing but noise, when I saw a ‘317’ number flash across my phone,” Wayne explained. “I answered it to see what was up. As soon as I heard the voice on the other line, I knew it was him. I’ve been knowing Chuck Pagano for a long time. This is beyond ‘head coach.’ This is family.”
The Colts quickly are becoming family. It’s an often hollow and overplayed sports intangible that, when it’s authentic and organic, can carry a team farther than the team otherwise would have gone. Though it will be an uphill climb to take back the AFC South from the Texans, the Colts could finagle a wild-card berth — and they would be a very tough out in the postseason.