Indianapolis Colts: What Jim Irsay's OWI Means To The Team

By Eric Smith
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

In shocking news on Monday morning, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was arrested for an OWI and possession of an illegal substance. Irsay is in jail until 1:30 p.m. Indianapolis time, and he will appear before a judge then.

Most people are jumping the gun and complaining that Irsay was driving drunk, but pump the brakes. Irsay has been open to the media and claimed that he hasn’t had a drink in years. However, he used to have a drug problem. With the arrest being an OWI (not a DUI) and being in possession of a substance, it appears to me that it was drug-related not alcohol-related.

That is a bit more serious as it could mean that Mr. Irsay needs some help.

A lot of people may not remember but in the 90s, Irsay had a cocaine problem. He since kicked the bad habit and became a huge figure in the Indy market, leading the Colts to their first Super Bowl while playing in Indianapolis. With how he’s built this team to from bottom-feeders all the way to the powerhouse in the Peyton Manning era and now the Andrew Luck era, what does this mean for the team?

This shouldn’t affect the on-field product in any way. The players are under contract and Irsay has no effect on production from the players. However, this does set a bad example and with the NFL trying to crack down on illegal activity off the field, I suspect they will come down hard on an owner for doing that. Whether that means a fine, a suspension, some forced help or even a loss of a draft pick, this gives Indianapolis a black eye.

This also could affect the Super Bowl bid in 2018 as well. Owners vote on the three finalists and with Irsay getting arrested, they’re not going to be too keen on awarding him another Super Bowl. Overall, this won’t have any effect on the product for this season, but it could hurt in the long term.

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