This should be a glorious week for the city of Indianapolis. They are hosting one of the most well run and well received Super Bowls in memory.
The NFL world loves being here. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Super Bowl came back to town.
The omnipresent fans that have given unique energy to this entire week have been let down, however, by the two most important football men in town. Colts owner Jim Irsay and Peyton Manning’s camp can’t help themselves.
Remember when Irsay and Manning released a joint statement about working together?
Remember when Irsay said he wouldn’t discuss Manning all week? That lasted 24 hours.
Irsay is taking early criticism for his latest response to Manning. The Colts owner says Manning has not passed a team physical and that he hasn’t been cleared to play. A team statement is coming.
But let’s be real: Neither man looks good with the situation devolving. Manning’s camp dropped an intentionally misleading bomb during Super Bowl week to get their story out there. The intent was apparently to put public pressure on the Colts. It was released at a time to attract maximum media exposure.
It was barely concealed propaganda and Manning’s agent went on NFL Network Friday morning to further the case.
Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star writes via a source that “nothing new” came out from the ESPN report on Manning’s health. We still don’t know when the nerves in his right arm will regenerate and if Manning will regain the necessary arm strength to play again. Manning still doesn’t know if he’ll be able to play in 2012.
Irsay deserves plenty of criticism for not rising above the fray, but Manning’s side deserves equal blame for re-lighting the media fire. I often check in on Nate Dunleavy of ColtsAuthority.com to get the sober Colts fan perspective on things.
“I love Peyton Manning, but that media stunt last night was embarrassing,” he wrote last night.
Another Colts forum is pleading for both Irsay and Manning to “knock it off now.” That likely helps sum up the pulse of Colts fans around town. Irsay isn’t going to win a P.R. war with Manning, but this back-and-forth is making both sides look bad.
Manning and Irsay are doing a disservice to the fans that have supported them both during Manning’s amazing run with the Colts.