Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, was arrested Sunday night in Carmel, Indiana for preliminary charges of DUI and felony posession of a controlled substance.
This comes as little shock to Indianapolis Colts fans or the local community, as made clear by hometown reporter Bob Kravitz in a compassionate but frank article written for the Indianapolis Star. Jim Irsay was open about his substance abuse as early as 2002, when he attended rehab for both addiction and the chronic pain that had originally exposed him to prescription painkillers.
Kravitz did an extensive interview with Irsay in early 2013, focused mainly on the departure of legendary quarterback Peyton Manning and how it effected the team. The Jim Irsay you see quoted in the article is a man passionate about his team, who very clearly believes in team loyalty but knows how to make the hard decisions for the betterment of the franchise. Irsay suffered serious public backlash for the decision to release Manning in favor of drafting Andrew Luck and forging a new Colts team, with one Twitter follower going so far as to issue a death threat against the owner.
Unfortunately, it seems as though Irsay has a harder time making those difficult calls in his own life. Last fall, Meg Irsay filed for divorce from her husband of 33 years, and Jim retained 100% ownership of the franchise. The question now becomes that of disciplinary action: if Mr. Irsay is found guilty, what kind of reprimand will come from the National Football League itself? The League has conduct integrity standards and policies that apply to all personnel it employs, not just the players.
Between seasons and still learning new team strategies, the Indianapolis Colts need the best of Jim Irsay’s attention and focus, along with the continued leadership of coach Chuck Pagano. The fans of the midwestern team have vocalized their support, wishing the best for Irsay and his health, as well as efficient and fair management of his Hamilton County case.
[Photo courtesy slackerwear.net]