There are moments in sports that transcend the game. These are moments that make people, regardless of their devotion to team or player, come together for a greater cause, to appreciate life and what they have. Sometimes the moments involve the players on the field, sometimes they involve the coaches or an owner of a given team.
On November 25, the Indianapolis community and two incredibly dedicated, brave and selfless Colts cheerleaders came together to create one of those moments.
In the weeks prior to the Week 12 Indianapolis-Buffalo game, Colts cheerleader Megan M. had accepted a challenge from team mascot Blue, promising to shave her head if the community raised $10,000 for leukemia research. The people of Indianapolis responded, overwhelmingly, raising well-over $20,000 and, being a woman of her word, Megan followed through on her promise.
The night before the much-publicized haircut was to go down, fellow cheerleader Crystal Anne agreed to join her friend. Crystal Anne, herself, had survived leukemia at an early age.
In an occupation where appearance is very important, the fact that two beautiful young women with no connection to Coach Pagano other than the fact that he coaches the team they cheer for, would take such a step to help fund research for the disease he is currently recovering from, is a testament to their internal beauty and the quality of people they are.
Megan, not looking for notoriety or attention, would tell Fox News the following day:
I just shaved my head. These people are going through the battle for their life and they’re really the ones who deserve all the praise.
Making things that much more special was the fact that head coach Chuck Pagano was in attendance to watch the cheerleaders prove their dedication for the cause.
It was the latest honorable step by the entire Colts organization and the larger Indianapolis community to honor their leader as he fights a disease that has taken a countless number of lives. While there will be a number of plays throughout the reminder of the regular season and the playoffs, it was one selfless act of kindness that took place off the field that is the best moment of the 2012 season.