Irsay defends himself against local criticism of Twitter habit


The most recent episode of Hard Knocks was nearly as intriguing for what it included as for what it omitted.

The folks at NFL Films and HBO presumably exercised significant editorial discretion, ignoring any unflattering comments from Dolphins’ management regarding the stream of tweets generated by Colts owner Jim Irsay regarding the brewing trade for cornerback Vontae Davis.  Those pieces of tape on the cutting-room floor would surely shed light on key issues, including how Irsay is perceived by the coaching staff and G.M. of another NFL team and, more importantly, whether and to what extent Irsay’s decision to tip his hand in excited fashion about a potential trade caused the Dolphins to put a thumb or two on the trade scale.

Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star recently authored a compelling critique of Irsay’s Twitter habit as it relates to strategic issues like potential trades.  Kravitz identifies two key problems.

“One, if the trade doesn’t get done, he’s teased the deal and the fans are left disappointed,” Kravitz writes, echoing far more eloquently concerns we raised over the weekend.  “Everybody’s appetite had been whetted; if it hadn’t happened, fans would have been up in arms, not only wondering why it didn’t get done, but blaming Irsay for blowing up the deal with his impertinent tweets.

“Second, the tweets send a message to a potential trading partner: These guys are desperate to get something done. Now your trading partner knows you have to get something done, or risk disappointing the local fan base.  If I’m Miami and I’m reading that — and who doesn’t read Jim’s tweets — I’m thinking, ‘I can get what I want from the Colts, maybe an additional pick or something.'”

Irsay decided to respond, via a three-part tweet:  “I don’t mind my friend Crafty Kravitz constructive criticism,but 1) Saying TradeWindsBlowing with Grigs is like saying the sun will rise 2day 2) I’m always correcting ‘Imagined’ words people THINK they heard; I never said ‘Blockbuster!’ or ‘Monster’ trade..never said it once! 3) With 31 teams and 75-90 player rosters..that’s over 2500 players in play..hardly a shocking tip of the hand! It’s theater,it’s excitement.”

The third part contradicts the first.  Irsay tries to say that trade winds are always blowing with G.M. Ryan Grigson, which means that Irsay’s tweets regarding the blowing of trade winds should have been regarded with a shrug.  But then Irsay says that he did what he did for effect, in order to create excitement.

As to part 2, where Irsay says he never used words like “Blockbuster!” or “Monster,” his use of all caps and exclamation points and reference to “given up high pick” for a “SERIOUS Vet/Starter!” and his “check book” is ready and “this sh*t is HOT, STAY TUNED!” created the reasonable impression for a neutral observer that the owner viewed it as a big deal.  Which means that the fans should, too.

Unfortunately, Kravitz offered no take on the tweet that arguably created the biggest problems for Irsay’s image in Indyand beyond.  In response to criticism on Twitter, Irsay played the “buy ur own team” card, underscoring the fact that he never actually bought a team, but inherited one.

It’s impossible to know whether Irsay’s tweets forced the team to give up more to get Davis.  But when considering what the Dolphins thought of the 2009 first-round pick, it’s likely that the deleted scenes from Tuesday night’s Hard Knocks would make Irsay wish he had deleted his tweets.  Or, better yet, that he had never sent them.

35 responses to “Irsay defends himself against local criticism of Twitter habit

  1. You clearly WANT a contradiction to be present, but there’s really none there. The all caps and exclamations was an effort to turn “the sun rising” into “theater/excitement” for the fans. I do agree with Kravitz that it can create the impression with trade partners that you really need to go through with this trade, which might be why it was a second instead of a third or why a sixth was thrown in.

  2. Ah yes, I remember life as a Colts fan before the owner got his frkn Twitter handle.
    Twitter is “social ” media.
    It has NO place in business OF ANY KIND.
    Please Mr. Irsay, keep Colts OPERATIONS agenda out of the social media.
    Contests for giveaways etc…??? FINE!!!
    Kravitz nailed this one.

  3. sbdt says: Aug 29, 2012 10:41 PM

    Grown man with a goatee. That is all.

    I hope he finds comfort in the BILLION DOLLARS HE HAS IN THE BANK even if you disapprove of his facial hair

    You sure owned him at life!

  4. Jeff Ireland can be heard on the latest episode of Hard Knocks saying the compensation for Davis started as a 5th and a 6th rounder, then went to a 3rd, then to a 2nd. This appears to be on Saturday at some point. That’s almost proof that Irsay’s tweeting drove up the price he paid for Davis. The very best case for Indy is that the tweeting added the conditional 6th rounder.

  5. I have no problem with him being active on Twitter….

    …however, it’s how he conducts himself on Twitter that he should re-examine. He’s a grown, presumably educated, man. Communicate and engage like it. He communicates on Twitter like a 13 year-old girl or the 25 year-old stoned fry cook of your local McDonald’s.

    It’s one thing to interact with the fans; it’s another to do so in a way that diminishes or tarnishes the veil of leadership for the organization, which he’s clearly doing.

  6. Anyone else having flashbacks of the Charlie Sheen days every time they read Irsay’s bizarre tweets? What a trainwreck, but I can’t turn my eyes away.

  7. Sometimes being rich beyond belief is not enough for some people. Irsay needs the attention his juvenile use of twitter affords him. He reminds me of third rate reality “stars.” I can only imagine the grown up owners must roll their eyes whenever Jimmy Tweets shows up at meetings.

  8. Irsay’s public behavior is empirical proof that a position of power and wealth don’t correlate with intelligence and dignity. Or professionalism for that matter.

  9. I’ve always found Isray’s drunken twitter rants quite embarrising.

    They wreak of a 16 year old girl who can’t handle her wine coolers.

    He should stop, really he should. To call it pathetic for a 60+ year old man to behave this way is putting it kindly.

  10. 1) Irsay is ridiculously immature and his Twittering and interactions with fans and critics exacerbates that.


    2) Who cares what the Dolphins or, of all people, their ridiculous GM even think?

    This is nothing but an episode of South Park (choose one: Cripple Fight or Douche vs Turd Sandwich)

  11. Just because Irsay likes to interact with Colts fan on Twitter, quote movies, and have some crazy random tweets doesn’t make him a bad owner.

    I don’t understand why people make such a big deal about the littlest of things. This is a non story that.

    Let the man keep his tweets.

  12. Can no one recognize manufactured drama? Chad Johnson was manufactured and so was the drama surrounding this trade.

    My money says the terms were agreed to well before it was shown on the show. Ireland danced with the camera and while that went on Irsay gained some followers. My guess is they both knew it would be perceived exactly how it was.

  13. Jimmy Irsay is a class A dimwit. Buy your own team!!! As if…

    This guy earned his money the old fashioned way. Daddy died and he inherited it.

    He was born on 3rd thinking he hit a triple.

    In one sense, I am thankful that the Irsay’s moved my Colts to Indy, because it alleviated us of the worst ownership family in football. We are so much better off with Steve B. it is almost insane. Steve B earned his money the American way. He worked for it. He built it, unlike Osama Obama said. And what a perfect couple. Jim Irsay and the Potus. It is like Abbot and Costello or Laurel and Hardy. Jimmy is the fat man and Obama is the slickster.

    Happy times Indy. You own him. But watch your “6”, because when Jimmy gets the chance he will move your team if he thinks he can make a nickel more.

    The acorn does not fall far from the tree. Robert “Bob the redfaced drunk” Irsay was rotten to his core. And his son Jimmy is only a couple steps behind.

  14. Ok a few things here. This is Irsay’s team. He can do as he pleases. As a colts fan, it was exciting for a little action. The Polian years were stagnant. Plus he also tweeted that trades fall through and even had a contest for cash and a jersey on whether or not it would happen.
    Secondly, if you have ever read any of Bob Kravitz work, you know he’s aways the devils advocate. Also a great writer.
    Lastly, who really cares what the Dolphins think. They have cut or traded all talent on the team. A starting QB with only 18 starts. They have more issues than Irsay’s tweets.

  15. Really tired of the Irsay bashing. Jim was smart enough to know he wasn’t the GM he needed so he hired Polian. Together they built an incredibly successful franchise from basically nothing.

    He also knew when to cut Polian loose. He has put together what looks to be a very good combination of Grigson and Pagano–Oh, and an incredible first round draft pick.

    Did he cost himself a higher draft pick with his enthusiasm to involve Colt’s fans? Probably.

    Bottom line: the deal got done; the man wants to win; he’s building another championship team for his fans!

  16. Irsay is the Cuban of the NFL and I’m fine with it. I’d rather have him that a stuffy old owner who has no idea how to relate to his players let alone the fans

  17. I do not believe Irsay is a bad guy or a poor owner, but I am afraid that this guy is driven by some foolish pride. The more people complain about his tweeting, the more he seems to want to defiantly tweet.

    Reign in the tweeting, big man.

  18. In the words of….. well I’m not quite sure who said it first. ” he may be an ass but he is OUR ass”. I like the dude. He is a very likable and generous person with both his time,money and his late night thoughts. Plus the tweets give MF something to talk about over and over and over…….. again. Keep on keeping on Mr. I.

  19. it’s his team and he can do what he wishes….

    If Isray wants to continue to drop his pants for any team in the league by tweeting everything he’s thinking…. the rest of the NFL teams and their fans thank you…..

  20. Kravitz is the only doosh in this story.

    It seems to me that he was teased more so than any of the fans.

    @sbt: make sure you push your mullet up under your ball cap before going out today.

  21. In summation, in case my post gets deleted b/c I dared to talk about MF, he’s crazy like a fox. The media had the Colts pegged at 32 in the league this coming year. Until they saw Luck play and his potential, then came the spinning and now the media have the Colts going 6-10 to 8-8 possibly…a far cry from being the worst team in the league. Other teams have got to be jealous that we went from one HOF QB right to POTENTIALLY another. Time will tell, but everyone that has seen him play (despite being behind that terrible o-line, which will get fixed) knows Luck is the real deal at least so far. That has to piss off fans in Oakland, Cleveland, J-Ville, or any other perennial losing team, to know we having Manning Part Two, but with better mobility (see him moving around in the face of a big rush against the Skins, to toss a bomb to T.Y. Hilton for a TD)…

  22. Likely got fans more angry that they were all worked up and only came out of it with Vontae Davis. I’m sure they would have rather had it fall through.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!