When Colts owner Jim Irsay said that cutting Peyton Manning was a step toward building a team that could win more than one championship, it was perceived by many as a shot at Manning. But it was also perceived as a shot at Bill Polian, the man who built the Colts’ rosters during Manning’s time with the team.
Polian sounded like his feelings were hurt in an appearance on SportsCenter today in which he said he and Irsay aren’t speaking. A somewhat awkward exchange between Polian and ESPN’s Sage Steele went like this:
Steele: Have you spoken to Mr. Irsay?
Polian: I have not.
Steele: Do you plan to?
When Polian was asked to expand on his thoughts about Irsay’s comments, Polian launched into a defense of his own record as the Colts’ president.
“My Lord, we won more games for 10 years than any team in the history of the league,” Polian said. “Eleven playoff appearances in 13 years so, you know, that’s the definition of winning.”
Polian also predicted that Manning “won’t like the pregame ceremony, whatever it may be” on Sunday because Manning likes to prepare for every game the same way with no distractions.
When Steele said the separation between Manning and the Colts was “amicable,” Polian disagreed.
“He wanted to stay very badly right up until the end,” Polian said of Manning. “They cut him.”
And when Steele asked Polian for his thoughts on Sunday’s game, Polian didn’t opt for the politically correct answer. Instead, he made clear that he hopes Manning goes to Indianapolis and sticks it to the Colts.
“My heart would be with the Broncos all the way,” Polian said.
Almost two years after Irsay fired him, Polian sounds like he still has hard feelings.