Five Revelations in Chuck Pagano’s New Book, ‘Sidelined’

What you don’t know about the Chuckstrong season

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Sidelined

Colts coach Chuck Pagano has a book coming out June 24, and you can buy a copy early at his signing this weekend in Carmel. In Sidelined (Zondervan, $24.99), Pagano relives week-by-week that dramatic 2012 season when he was hired as head coach, diagnosed with cancer, and did his job from his hospital bed while his young team made magic on the field.

I got my hands on an advance copy. Here are five revelations from the Chuckstrong season. (For a full review, see thebluemare.com.)

1. During his interview for the coaching position, Chuck Pagano saw Colts general manager Ryan Grigson write down something and show it to chief operating officer Pete Ward. After Pagano got the job, Grigson showed him the note. It said: “Players will run through a brick wall for this guy.”

2. When Pagano checked into the hospital, his wife, Tina, was asked to come up with an alias for him. Knowing it would make him laugh, she gave him actor Dwayne Johnson’s stage name, The Rock.

3. That first day in the hospital, Chuck and Tina cried together in his room. That was the only time he saw his wife cry during his illness.

4. During the Packers game (the first following his diagnosis), Pagano watched from his hospital bed as the #CHUCKSTRONG movement came to life at Lucas Oil Stadium. He also got to see his wife watch one of his games. Tina was pacing, cheering, and yelling. He said to her, “Really? Is that how you act when I’m on the field and you’re up in the stands?”

5. Football mirrors life. The similarities between what Pagano faced in the hospital and what his players faced on the field every week is both eerie and inspiring. They prevailed together, driven by the coach’s faith. Pagano’s philosophy on football is the same as it is on life: “Circumstances never determine who we are; they reveal who we are.” Sidelined: Come for the football. Stay for the inspiration.

Book-signing: Saturday, June 21, 11 a.m.–1 p.m, at Barnes & Noble, 14709 U.S. 31, Carmel, 317-844-2501

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