Colts owner Jim Irsay and former Monday Night Football commentator Tony Kornheiser have engaged in a war of words today, with Kornheiser ripping Irsay on the radio, Irsay ripping Kornheiser on Twitter, and both parties landing some verbal jabs.
Caught in the crossfire was Kornheiser’s former Washington Post colleague Sally Jenkins, whom Kornheiser called “shrew-like” for the tone of her own commentary on NFL owners.
It started with Kornheiser scoffing on his radio show at Irsay’s claim that he could get an NFL labor deal hammered out by sitting down with Colts center Jeff Saturday.
“What inflames this is a complete bozo, like Jimmy Irsay,” Kornheiser said. “Jimmy Irsay, who inherited his team. Worked very hard in the American way. He was in what Dan Jenkins used to call ‘The son business.’ He inherits a team, and now he says, ‘Jeff Saturday and I could hang out, we could go clubbing, we could work this out on a napkin at Ralph’s Boathouse.’”
For the record, it was actually Rick’s Boatyard where Irsay said he and Saturday could do a deal. And while Kornheiser is right that Irsay inherited his team from his father, just about anyone who has observed the Colts through the years would agree that Irsay has been an effective owner, far more effective than his dad.
But Kornheiser wasn’t done, saying that Irsay is viewed as a joke among his fellow owners, who would be much more likely to listen to someone like Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
“Jimmy Irsay, the rest of the owners wouldn’t trust Jimmy Irsay to call a cab for them,” Kornheiser said. “Just so we understand that. They would not. Now, when the Krafts of the world, Kraft says, ‘This is hurting us with fans,’ he’s a reasonable guy. They would trust Kraft. There’s four or five owners that the other owners would trust to get involved in this.”
When Irsay heard about that, he went on Twitter and responded.
“T.Kornheiser is a mean-spirited chump! When he can win 115 games n a decade,build a top 3 stadium,win n host a Super Bowl,then he can chirp!” Irsay wrote. “I think he used 2 b Bill Tobin’s mailman…but that would b an insult 2 mail men! I just droppin’ knowledge…”
So now that we have Irsay’s response, the next question is whether Sally Jenkins, who wrote a column criticizing NFL owners, will also offer a response to Kornheiser’s comments during the same segment of his radio show.
“I read Sally’s shew-like, hysterical column in which she just bangs the owners around, constantly, constantly, constantly,” Kornheiser said. “I’m really sick of that.”
So, to be clear, Kornheiser is sick of members of the media criticizing the owners. But he’s happy to use his radio show to call one owner a bozo.