One of the biggest losses to come during the Great Purge is that of captain Gary Brackett, a Classic Colt of the truest definition. Phillip B. Wilson recalls Brackett’s workmanlike approach to the game through the story of Brackett’s miraculous, nearly season changing forced fumble against Jermome Bettis and the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006:
After the game, I asked Brackett how he forced the fumble, how the undersized, unknown, undrafted guy from Rutgers kept fighting when it seemed obvious everyone else was resigned to the team’s fate.
Aside from being told he would never be big enough or strong enough to make it in the NFL, Brackett had endured personal hardship a few years earlier. In a 16-month span, he lost both of his parents as well as a brother. I know he donated bone marrow to try to help save his brother.
So I shouldn’t have been surprised that Brackett didn’t hesitate when asked how he kept going.
“After all I’ve been through,” he said, “how could I quit now?”
The Colts have lost a tremendous leader and man in Gary Brackett but luckily as fans we’ll always remember and honor one of the game’s good guys.