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Indy columnist suggests Polian’s rudeness played role in firing

Shutdown Corner

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Indianapolis Star writer Phillip B. Wilson didn't like Colts vice chairman Bill Polian and isn't afraid to say it.

In a blistering blog post that appeared Tuesday on the newspaper's website, Wilson rips Polian's intimidating management attitude and brusque relationship with the media and suggests that these traits played a role in his termination by Colts owner Jim Irsay. He says Polian ruled by fear.

Wilson has an axe to grind and isn't apologetic about it. By the time he's done, he wears the thing down to a nub. Whether you agree or disagree, it makes for a compelling read.

Here's one of Wilson's stories about the former Colts:

I was reminded recently about how a former Colts player was in a hallway, talking to a then-current player, when Polian walked up. The boss didn't care for the former player, and refused to acknowledge the man's presence. A short time later, a nearby phone rang. The current player explained the former player had to leave.

I was tempted to call a friend connected with the City who has had dealings with Polian for the 14 years the Colts boss was here. This friend often advised he had some serious stories to share as soon as Polian was gone. But I resisted the temptation. I can imagine. No need for details.

For what it's worth, I've read the post twice and keep changing my mind about what it means. I believe what Wilson says but wonder how much it matters. In personal relationships and perception from the media, sure, the fact that Polian may be a jerk is a negative. In terms of building a football team, who really cares? Being polite at all times worked for Joe Gibbs and Tony Dungy. The majority of other successful NFL leaders lean the other way. These are the sorts of things that only matter when you're losing. When you're winning, nobody cares.

Dance on Bill Polian's grave all you'd like; but do so at your own peril. That Super Bowl title he helped bring to Indianapolis may be the last one for a while, especially if giving good quotes to the press and being friendly to ex-players is Jim Irsay's main criteria in looking for a replacement.

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