After his arrest in March, Jim Irsay has been silent. He has recently reappeared to try and secure Indy as the host for Super Bowl XLVI.He held a 12 minute media scrum where he refused to discuss any personal matters. However, that discussion will happen sooner rather than later and the unfortunate Goodell will lead that talk.
I’d like to preface this conversation by saying that I am massive Colts fan. That, and two points may be affecting my judgement on Irsay. First, on a macro level, the recent controversy involving Donald Sterling has made all sports fans consider an owner’s rights and impact. This was an interesting event for a major league to go through. The push to rid racism/sexism/bullying etc in sports has no doubt affected the speed with which Sterling lowered his punishment. Obviously blatant racism is a different issue, but this was a personal statement said in private. Irsay’s drunk driving, while separate from the business that is the Colts, had the ability to be far worse than it was. Had he killed someone I imagine things would change drastically.
My second point is on a micro level. That would be Mr Rob Ford. As a Torontonian, Robbie is constantly pushed in my/our face. His inappropriate comments, rants and public drunken appearances are front page news. Various promises to be sober and to clean up his act and then BAM a second crack video. Jim Irsay isn’t smoking crack; but he does have a problem with substance abuse. I cannot help but see that still image of Rob Ford crack pipe in hand when I hear promises of a sober future. Obviously running a sports team is different than running a city; but both are positions of power.
When Irsay speaks on Tuesday there will be doubt on peoples minds. Not necessarily for the same reasons; but those doubts will exist. He is apparently slowly taking over day to day operations at the Colts headquarters again. He’s also an allegedly successful grandaunt of the rehab facility he entered. I’d prefer to think that Irsay will change-this time. That the treatment he sought will push him to stay sober for good. However, I wonder if the Colts should still rest solely in his hands. His daughters have clearly taken over a lot of the responsibility of running the franchise. Perhaps the team would be better off under their care. After decades of drug and alcohol abuse Irsay is starting to look a little Fordian.
What do you think should happen with Jim Irsay?