Irsay, at a press conference Monday for the Super Bowl host committee, said that he would be taking a break from talking about Peyton Manning this week after engaging in a little sniping with the quarterback before issuing a joint press release pledging civility. Irsay let everyone in on his plan when asked about Manning at the presser.
“Obviously the media has been very hungry for comments and those sort of things,” Irsay said, via the New York Daily News. “There’s a great interest here in Indianapolis. But Peyton and I, in talking this weekend and everything, we want the focus to be on the game. He’s excited about Eli, having his whole family coming in. And hosting the game. That’s where the focus should be. Obviously, it’s a story that has a lot of interest. But we’re going to go about this week with that focus in mind.”
Manning’s status was going to be a big issue this week regardless of where the game was being played. The fact that the game is in the Colts’ stadium with his brother starting for one of the teams makes it all the harder to ignore. Irsay and the league would obviously prefer to keep the talk on the game, but, if Monday is any indication, there will be plenty of people willing to fill the void even if nothing can really happen until the Colts decide whether or not they will be exercising their $28 million option on Manning’s services.