Opposing Viewpoints: The Colts’ Front Office Needs to Re-Evaluate its Public Image

Editor’s Note: This is the first part in our “Opposing Viewpoints” series. In the series, there will be two articles posted within two days of each other, each having differing opinions on a current issue. We believe that there’s room for differing opinions on not-so-clear issues, and those issues should be discussed. So, in our effort to share different Colts opinions, here is the first part of “Opposing Viewpoints.” Please leave us some feedback in the comments, sharing your opinion on the issue, as well as leaving suggestions for future posts. Go Colts! After Jim Irsay busted off the tweet (I hate the word “tweet”) heard ‘round the world, the panic started and Colts fans began to believe that we had a legitimate reason to worry about the beginning of Peyton Manning’s 14th season. Even though I’m concerned about Manning’s health, I’m confident that he will be ready to go September 11th. Let’s just say that I’m riding with Tony Dungy on this one.

Despite my confidence, I can’t understand why Irsay makes it into a joke, of sorts. No more than a day later, Irsay dropped this beauty to the masses:

“Brad,I’m in Hattiesburg…is it right or left at the Firechief?”

The infamous “Favre is back!” monster began to rear its head, again. This time, Irsay was responsible. Should I say that again? Irsay. Was. Responsible. Thankfully, the rumor quickly lost steam and was thrown out the window. As always, it turns out that Irsay was having a little “fun” with everyone. I could understand that much. What I don’t get is, what for? A little fun can go a long way (just ask Pat McAfee), but am I the only one getting annoyed by Irsay’s random tweets? I appreciate the inside scoop, but what purpose does the rest serve? Irsay succeeded in making every Colts fan in the world soil their undies with his initial tweet, but then he decided to take a turn to goofball land and pop off a Favre rumor, which later turned into a joke. When Irsay makes a joke like this, how do we know how much weight to attach to his Manning concerns? Is he just trying to get a rise out of the media and fans, or is there really an issue? After all, he was the one who assured that Manning would be ready for camp. That obviously never happened and we’re already heading into the third pre-season game. Still, no moves have been made and the clock continues to tick. If we are serious about winning a game or two while Manning rests up (yeah, right), what’s the hold up? I rather be safe than sorry. Irsay realizes that his words will quickly be picked apart and digested. That’s the joy of being important. However, what’s the point of inviting these words to turn into pure speculation? The Colts Front Office is notoriously extremely secretive. While I think that the quest for a veteran QB could be very possible and very justified, it’s not going to involve Favre. So yet again, why even open that can of worms? Does Irsay think that this makes him look cool, like when he posts some random rock lyrics? While trying not to be too hard on Jim, I realize that the media and Colts coverage sites, much like Coltsider, have the ability to print and publish whatever they’d like. We could choose to ignore it, but it’s insane to think that this “news” isn’t going to make headlines. That’s the nature of the media beast and Irsay is fully aware. Still, I like to think that when the owner of the Indianapolis Colts speaks up, people are going to listen and not brush it off as another joke or riddle. That’s important. We expect our players to be taken seriously, so why is Irsay any different? “The owner is the owner,” as Bill Polian generally stated, is not a good enough answer. I’ve always been an Irsay fan. The man has done some great things for the city of Indianapolis and I have a lot of respect for him. Still, is it wrong of me to think that Irsay should be above Twitter, for the likes of creating confusion and sparking childish rumors? I like that he uses Twitter to positively affect fans and followers, with prize giveaways and more. That’s a great thing and I think that speaks volumes about Irsay’s passion. But how many owners do you see tweeting away about a Favre rendezvous or a potential Randy Moss sighting? How many owners tweet at all? The simple answer to that is none. Dare I say that we look at guys like Bob Kraft and Mark Murphy to get an idea of how an owner should act? Irsay knows better. I also understand that this is a part of the wacky personality that makes up Jim Irsay. Heck, that’s why I like the guy. He’s eccentric and usually provides for good entertainment, but I can’t also help to think about how other teams and fans perceive this organization. I realize that at the end of the day, all that matters is winning (to most people). The Steelers win and their players act like jerks, and everyone seems to be fine with that. As for the Colts, we have always enjoyed winning and our players set the bar for class in everything they do. When’s the last time you heard anything really negative about Manning, unless it’s coming from Jason La Canfora (barf) or Jamie Dukes (and more barf)? When Robert Mathis was rumored to be a possible holdout, he stated the following on Twitter:

“Haven’t thought of scheming up a #PayMePlan yet for 3 reasons. (1)18 is up  (2) 87 needs his (3)free agents will b addressed b4 me.”

Class. What about Jeff Saturday? He created an awesome moment that ended in a hug with rival Patriots owner, Bob Kraft. This allowed me to forget that Kraft was the owner of the Patriots, even if it was only for a millisecond. Due to their efforts, people will always associate Saturday and Kraft with the end of the lockout. It is random acts of class, just like these, that make me proud to be a Colts fan. I hate to say anything else positive about the Patriots, but I know their fans are proud too. With that said, it just seems like our front office can fail to sometimes follow suit of its own employees. Whether it’s the goofy tweets posted by Irsay, Polian being Polian and telling “stat geeks” to get some sun, or the constant secrecy, all of this serves for some embarrassment via the control room of the Colts. Not to mention, we get absolutely blown out every pre-season. This is one of the things that bothers me the most. The “who cares” attitude, that so many fans don’t appreciate, needs to disappear. The fans who are spending their hard-earned money to watch the Colts and its coaching staff, deserve no complacency. I don’t care if it’s pre-season or not. Do you see other talented teams performing like complete train wrecks in the pre-season? I don’t. Does this attitude trickle down from Bill Polian’s own arrogance? Who knows? Whether you agree or disagree, I think it’s important to discuss. We all love the stats, the games, and all of the excitement that comes with plain old football. That’s the juicy stuff. However, I think the less entertaining aspects hold their own equal importance. By no means is this an attempted character assassination of Jim Irsay, Bill Polian, or the entire Colts Front Office. These guys have made me proud to be a Colts fan and I will never forget what they’ve done. I just firmly believe that they should take a step back and look at themselves in the mirror, from time to time. It can’t hurt. Feel free to discuss. Jim Irsay and Bill Polian appreciate your comments.

Kyle J. Rodriguez

About Kyle J. Rodriguez

A film and numbers guru, Kyle writes about the NFL and the Indianapolis Colts for Bleacher Report, Draft Mecca and The Football Educator, and is a co-founder and associate editor of Colts Authority. Kyle also is a high school sports reporter for the MLive Media Group in Michigan, covering high school sports across the state.