BOSTON, Mass. (Jan. 15, 2015)-- Most fans in the Boston area think the game against the Colts is an easy match up for the Patriots, but one of them is torn. He has a personal connection to head coach Chuck Pagano.
A letter, a head coach and a disease are what brought Rich Shertenlieb to an unlikely conclusion.
"We're massive Colts fans, we really are, they're my favorite team outside of the Patriots," said Shertenlieb.
He makes his living talking about all things Patriots at the 98.5 The Sports Hub.
It was cancer that changed Shertenlieb's mind. His wife Mary was diagnosed with leukemia in 2013.
They had just seen Pagano beat the same disease.
"Even before she was diagnosed, we watched it on TV together, even before she knew she had leukemia we saw Chuck Pagano come back," said Shertenlieb.
A friend told Pagano, unbeknownst to Shertenlieb, and days later he received a letter.
"My wife was asleep in her hospital bed and I read it and I actually started crying," said Shertenlieb.
That very personal letter contained advice for the couple.
"We printed out the letter and we put it across from her on her bed so when she would wake up during her treatment, it would be one of the first things that she would see," said Shertenlieb.
The die-hard Patriots fan turned into a Pagano believer, and even a Colts fan.
"It's one of the nicest things that anyone's ever done for me." said Shertenlieb.
Shertenlieb's wife is doing well now. She had a transplant and all her signs are good. He says they'll always keep a copy of that letter and revisit it in the years to come.