|Photo Credit: USA Today Sports|
All accounts out of Indianapolis are pointing to the city being a very gracious host for Super Bowl week. Colts fans all over town are fired up that the entire sports world has eyes on their home. It's true that Indy has garnered most of the attention from major sports outlets this week, and the entire population there has been killing it. Yet there's one man who still feels snubbed.
Get a life, Jim Irsay. In the days leading up to Super Bowl Forty Six between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants, the Colts owner has decided to spark a public pissing match with his soon-to-be-former quarterback Peyton Manning. Following a 2-14 season that I’m convinced the Colts threw all by themselves, Indianapolis drew drafting rights for the first overall pick. They made it clear that they plan on taking Andrew Luck and moving forward with him as their quarterback. In response, Peyton Manning let it be known that he didn’t want to be looking over his own shoulder, and it’s now clear that the two parties will be parting ways.
Good. Fine. Release the man and let some teams get after him, right? Wrong.
The Peyton Manning story has become more of a circus than anyone expected. Last week we had consummate NFL insider Rob Lowe (of West Wing fame) tweeting that Peyton plans to retire. Stories abound regarding the nerves in Peyton’s throwing arm that have still not regenerated. Then yesterday, Adam Schefter reported that Peyton had been cleared by two different doctors to return to the NFL, giving the teams that plan on pursuing Peyton good reason to load their weapons.
Not so fast, says Irsay. In a tweet sent out by the Colts owner yesterday, Irsay had this to say:
But wait, Jim, I thought you were moving forward with Andrew Luck as your quarterback next year. Why would you even bother having a team doctor check Peyton out? Irsay responded with a team statement ensuring us that he and Peyton are very close. He told the media that Peyton and the Colts are on good terms, and even included a picture of the two good ol’ boys together at a team party a few nights ago.
Jim Irsay is handling this like only a broken-hearted high school girl could. His posts on twitter equate to commenting on his ex-girlfriend’s recently changed relationship status with: “Babe, why would you post this? It’s not over yet, it’s just complicated.” Men in Irsay’s position usually have image control staff members, but Irsay must have fired his. The twitter happy owner even went as far as responding to fans’ backlash on twitter with this:
Okay, so here’s what I have to say to the three men most pivotal in the future of the Colts –
Dear Peyton Manning,
I know that Jim Irsay is handling this break-up much like a 16 year old girl would handle it. So far you’ve done just fine keeping your name out of too much controversy. My best advice for you, as a member of the consuming public, would be to just stay out of the way of the media as much as possible. I know that’s tough, especially with your little brother playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday, but you’re a saavy vet – just “no comment” all those future-Colts-Irsay questions until you’ve reached a final decision. Any other questions regarding Eli, family, whatever, are fair game. Just stay out of Irsay’s trap and you’ll be just fine.
Dear Andrew Luck,
Congratulations on a great college career – I’m excited to see what you can do in the National Football League. Before you get there, however, I’d advise you take a look at what’s going on over there in Indianapolis right now. It’s kind of embarrassing really. A totally restructured coaching staff, a brand new GM, the exit of a disgruntled yet beloved quarterback and an owner that can’t even tell when he’s got his entire foot shoved in his mouth? It sounds like a recipe for disaster.
I know I’m a little biased – I would love to see you reunited with old coach Harbaugh over here in San Francisco – but even if that’s not the case, pulling an Eli Manning might just be the move to make here. We all know about your character; however your biggest asset is your brains. It might be wise to find another team to start an NFL career with. I promise it’ll pay off in the long run, just ask the guy that’s quarterbacking the Giants on Sunday.
Dear Jim Irsay,
Put the smart phone on the ground and step away from it. Now.
Seriously – owners should not be allowed to tweet. Tweets from ownership should be a job left to an assistant operating under the owner’s alias. I understand playboy owners like Jim Irsay or Mark Cuban. Hell, Eddie D. was like that, and he was one of the greatest to ever do it. But Eddie did it in a time where everything that went public did so at a much slower rate. Every move was calculated, every statement given at a press conference after rehearsal. There was no internet. There was no twitter. He had time to think before he spoke.
Jim Irsay is using social media to set fire to his own establishment and (for reasons beyond my comprehension) no one is doing anything to stop it. Peyton Manning’s career will continue, and Andrew Luck’s is about to begin, but if the Colts don’t find a way to improve in 2012, Jim Irsay’s career is the one that may come to a crashing halt.