Colts owner Jim Irsay didn’t react to a season-ending loss to the previously 2-14 Jaguars by taking names for pink slips. He nevertheless sounds like something who may eventually be kicking ass, if things don’t change.
Standing outside an airplane with a Colts logo on the tail, Irsay delivered a 95-second video message, talking over an idling jet engine.
“Colt fans,” Irsay said. “Here in the desert now. And feeling the pain and disappointment from this season. It certainly is something where I apologize for. And we have allowed, and I have allowed, doubt, fear, and a lack of faith to slip into our DNA. And it will not stand.”
He doesn’t elaborate or explain on why or how he thinks he or the team allowed “doubt, fear, and a lack of faith” to affect the team, and how it kept the Colts from getting to the playoffs. It’s possible, frankly, that he’s talking about the surge of players who had doubt, fear, and/or a lack of faith regarding the COVID vaccines, which directly impacted player availability.
“Every walking step in this offseason is committed to getting the horseshoe back to where it should be,” Irsay added. “We understand what happens and I understand what happens, and it’s unacceptable. I promise you one thing. Anyone walking into the 56th Street complex this year will be walking in with all chips in. Period. If you don’t want to put all your chips in on the table for winning the next one, then don’t walk in the building.”
It’s unclear whether this is just Schrutian blood alone moves the wheels of history stuff, or whether there’s some deeper problem with the organization he’s trying to address. The vaccination issue, given Irsay’s past comments and the presence of multiple key players (including quarterback Carson Wentz) who refused to get the jabs, would be the most obvious basis for his complaint.
“This commitment starts with me,” Irsay concluded. “It starts with my self-analysis. And I can tell all of Colts nation this is something that every day, every hour, every minute we’re working to fix. It’s unacceptable, and it will not stand. Thank you.”
The tough talk may simply be a precursor to the sending out of season-ticket renewal forms, possibly with a mild increase in prices. If this was truly anything other than a sales pitch, an effort to convince fans that he cares as much as they do about missing the playoffs, he presumably would have taken tangible action this week.
Maybe the diatribe was aimed at putting management of the team on notice for 2022. Maybe he’s just saying what he has to say to sell as many tickets as possible. Maybe he’s truly exasperated with the manner in which the vaccination issue affected his roster.
Regardless, he’s clearly not upset about the bottom line. In the NFL, it’s impossible to not make a major profit. As we’ve said time and again, teams that define success by winning Super Bowls are destined to be disappointed. Teams that focus on whether the business is financially viable will be pleased every year.