As Colts owner Jim Irsay continues to renew the fight against a personal demon he once thought he could control, the national media and bloggers everywhere continue to offer their negative and often uninformed opinions, often referring it to a “drunk driving” incident (more on that soon).
Meanwhile, back in Indianapolis, Mr. Irsay has checked himself into a rehabilitation facility (yes, that was before a USA Today writer insisted that fellow team owners should have some sort of intervention to convince Irsay to go into rehab).
As you surely know by now, while Irsay is away from the team, his daughter Carlie Irsay-Gordon, who along with her sisters Casey Foyt and Kalen Irsay hold the title of Vice Chair/Owner, will man the ship. As The Indianapolis Star’s Stephen Holder points out, things should run about the same way they normally would, with Pete Ward handling the business side of things while Ryan Grigson continues to head up football operations.
The Colts aren’t turning over the reins to a neophyte. Irsay-Gordon has been around the team for quite some time. One thing that stands out when reading about her is that she’s been helping to represent the organization at owners meetings for a decade already. Here’s a little more about the Colts’ interim CEO from her Colts.com bio:
Carlie Irsay-Gordon is in her second season as vice chair/owner. She joined the Colts as vice president in July of 2008 and, along with sisters Casey and Kalen, represents the next generation of ownership for the club. Raised in and around the Colts organization, Carlie interned with the Colts in the football and marketing departments while pursuing her undergraduate degree. She also has represented the team at NFL Owners Meetings since 2004. Carlie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in religious studies with a minor in geoscience from Skidmore College in 2005. She resides in Indianapolis with her husband, Zach Gordon, and three children.
Meanwhile, Irsay, who goes back to court on March 26th, hasn’t been formally charged yet (felony charges aren’t as likely if he produces prescriptions). However, regardless of what happens in court, Irsay knows he has a problem, and he’s taken the first step in the right direction.
Jim Irsay is far from the first person to have to quit an addiction more than once, and he isn’t the first to try to manage it on his own and fail. He is, however, in the public eye, and a successful rehab would go a long way toward encouraging people with similar struggles to face their own addictions.
Fans, especially locally have been largely supportive, and people close enough to Irsay to know – or at least suspect – that he had a problem have offered up their encouragement as well (Note: please do not mistake showing support for condoning Irsay’s actions). It’s a long, difficult road ahead for Indy’s quirky-but-likeable billionaire. For now, the Colts are in capable hands, and so is Jim Irsay.