It’s not everyday that the visiting team agrees to wear a shirt in support of a home team’s cause.
But when the cause is Chuck Pagano, the universally well-like Colts head coach, you can throw all the unspoken rules and traditions out the window.
So it was only mildly surprising on Sunday to see a number of Green Bay Packers wearing T-shirts made by the Colts’ merchandising company, Indianapolis-based MainGate Inc., in support of Pagano, who last week was diagnosed with leukemia.
There was only one request from Packers players. They refused to wear the shirts in Colts blue.
No problem. MainGate sprang into action on Saturday and made a special batch of white with green lettering. The likes of Randall Cobb and Charles Woodson were shown prominently on ESPN and other national television shows going through pre-game drills wearing the shirts.
Colts fans were just as eager to wear the shirts. And they didn’t mind the Colts blue shirts one bit. In fact, thousands paid $20 each for them.
MainGate sold 3,100 ChuckStrong shirts after they went on sale Friday, with the proceeds going to benefit leukemia research at the IU Simon Cancer Center. More than $62,000 has been raised in just three days. That number could easily hit $100,000 for leukemia research this week.
The item was the top-selling item at Sunday’s game, with 1,700 sold at Lucas Oil Stadium, according to MainGate. About1,000 have been sold online.
The shirts will continue to be sold at the Colts pro shops at the stadium and Circle Centre mall and online.
“It was just amazing,” said MainGate CEO Dave Moroknek. “As soon as we filled the rack up, it was empty again.”