Last month, Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports compared new Raiders owner Mark Davis to Tommy Boy, the charmingly incompetent son of a deceased business owner who proceeded to drive the business into the ground. Many fans, however, would be more likely to envision Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeting out the lyrics to Fat Guy in a Little Coat (then again, the title contains all of the lyrics). But in Silver’s latest item, a very long but very well done look at the situation in Indianapolis, Silver makes Irsay look like Einstein for his handling of a franchise that suddenly has run aground.
Regardless of whether anyone agrees or disagrees with all or part of Silver’s assessment, some news is buried in the 1,973-word opus, even if it takes a staff with a specially-designed crystal catching a ray of sunlight at a precise moment in the late afternoon to find it.
Silver says that Irsay has decided to move on from Peyton Manning, and to draft Andrew Luck.
“Luck is The Guy,” an unnamed source told Silver. “I don’t care what happens [at the Combine]. I don’t care if Griffin flies.”
That said, Silver leaves the door very slightly open on Manning returning. Per Silver, it will take “something dramatic and unexpected” for Manning to play again for the Colts, an outcome that “almost certainly” won’t happen.
Silver also compares the latter days of Brett Favre’s time in Green Bay to Manning’s looming departure from Indy, but there’s one major difference. The powers-that-be in Green Bay never took Brett’s bait, refusing to engage him in a battle of wits and/or words (OK, words), even if Packers had to hire former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer to hold their hands and/or muzzle their mouths.
Irsay has no one with the ability or the nerve to comment on the emperor’s choice of attire, and so Irsay largely has lost the P.R. battle by calling Peyton a “politician,” by failing to control the impulse to type 140 characters or less on the ultimate test of impulse control, and (possibly) by strategically leaking negative information regarding Manning’s health in the hopes of persuading the locals not to storm the castle when Peyton is cut, or as part of an exercise in wishful thinking that Manning will play neither for the Colts nor anyone else.
Though Irsay deserves credit for being decisive regarding the need for a new power structure, he also needs to be faulted for putting together a franchise that in 2011 stared down adversity by shriveling into a tumbleweed. And he should be called out for failing to follow his own advice to keep things in house regarding the delicate process of untangling the franchise quarterback from the franchise.
Despite the fact that Luck has yet to say or do anything to suggest that he’ll do to Jim Irsay what John Elway once did to Irsay’s father, the manner in which Jim Irsay handles the Manning situation eventually could prompt Luck to have the same opinion regarding Irsay that Silver has regarding Mark Davis.