Reports are coming out about Indianapolis Colts Owner Jim Irsay taking shots at ex-Colt and current Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. In a recent interview with USA Today Sports, Irsay said he was “frustrated” that the Colts won only one Super Bowl despite reaching the playoffs 11 times with Manning, saying:
“You make the playoffs 11 times, and you’re out in the first round seven out of 11 times. You love to have the Star Wars numbers from Peyton Manning and Marvin (Harrison) and Reggie (Wayne). Mostly, you love this, flashing the ring”.
Now as a sports fan I am highly questionable about these remarks and the backlash it is causing. The Colts are nothing short of a classy, professional organization. The situation that unfolded regarding Manning and the future of that organization is unique unto itself.
Now is this really a dig at Peyton or more at ex-GM and current ESPN employee Bill Polian? An insider source close to the Colts organization stated this morning based on Irsay’s comments that ‘it’s embarrassing how many sports writers are choosing to misquote or take him (Irsay) out of context for this story…He took a few shots at (Bill) Polian and praised Peyton (Manning). He (Irsay) also called the Denver Broncos a team with a great shot to win championship(s) and a classy organization’.
People are comparing this return to Brett Favre’s return to Lambeau Field as a Minnesota Viking in 2009. Truthfully, this is something completely different. Favre went to the New York Jets for a season, retired (again), only to go to Minnesota to get back at the Green Bay Packer organization. This situation, however, doesn’t deal with retirements and back and forth. Peyton Manning is arguably the best quarterback of our generation. The surgeries and situation he was placed into was a unique spot that very few have been in. The same goes for Colts owner Jim Irsay. With the number No. 1 pick in the following year’s draft, there were reports that came out about Manning’s “blessing” to draft then Stanford University quarterback Andrew Luck. For Colts fans this is going to be a bitter sweet opportunity to see The Sheriff’s return. There are also reports of a tribute of some sort that will be played pregame at Lucas Oil Stadium.
As we all know this game has been hyped up since the schedule was released in the early part of the year. The return of Peyton is something special not only for him but for the city of Indianapolis. To quote NBC analyst and ex-Colts head coach Tony Dungy, “Without Peyton, there would be no Lucas Oil Stadium. This team would be playing in L.A. right now”. That being said, with someone as smart as Irsay, why would he want to provoke Peyton? Broncos head coach John Fox has had some words, and eventually the media will want the players to voice their opinions on this ‘little’ matter.
With the nation watching, this game will be pretty special. It seems to the outsider that the best thing for Peyton, Andrew and all the players involved to simply keep focus. At the end of the end of the day, the Broncos are still undefeated and have their division rival Kansas City Chiefs right there with them, while the Colts are coming off a road loss and would love nothing more than to hand Denver its first L.
Check me out on Twitter @HarrisonScottT and tomorrow on the fourth installment of The Blind Referee @TBR_305