Someone needs to take away Jim Irsay’s keys to Twitter.
It’s a statement that could have been made multiple times since Irsay opened his account. It’s never been more appropriate than today, which has featured several volleys and deflections regarding the firestorm he created via comments indicating that he moved on from Peyton Manning in part because Irsay wanted championships, not statistics.
Irsay continued his Twitter tirade on Wednesday, taking aim at ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.
“Chris Mortensen, I don’t recall you being on that flight from Miami to Indy when Peyton said ‘You can’t pass on Luck’ I accept your apology,” Irsay said. “As far as your irresponsibility, that’s disappointing because your assumption that you were privy to all of Peyton and my conversations. Irresponsible [and] misleading[.] Come on . . you’re better than that, Chris.”
In response, Mort pointed out that the conversation occurred on the flight preceding the press conference announcing Peyton’s release, after Irsay had made up his mind to move on from Manning.
And regardless of what Manning said to Irsay about drafting Andrew Luck with the first pick in the 2012 draft either on their last flight together or prior to that, Irsay said what he said to Jarrett Bell of USA Today.
“We’ve changed our model a little bit, because we wanted more than one of these,” Irsay said, referring to his Super Bowl XLI ring. “[Tom] Brady never had consistent numbers, but he has three of these. Pittsburgh had two, the Giants had two, Baltimore had two and we had one. That leaves you frustrated.
“You make the playoffs 11 times, and you’re out in the first round seven out of 11 times. You love to have the Star Wars numbers from Peyton and Marvin [Harrison] and Reggie [Wayne]. Mostly, you love this.”
While a surprising number of folks in the media have argued either that the comments were taken out of context (which continues to be the most misapplied excuse for someone saying something they shouldn’t have said) or that Irsay was merely telling the truth (which he quite possibly was), the point remains that Irsay should have said nothing that reasonably or unreasonably could have been construed as a diss of Peyton Manning in the days preceding the on-field reunion.
Unless, of course, former Colts coach Tony Dungy’s assessment is accurate regarding Irsay’s possible desire to get Peyton so keyed up for the game that he performs like he did in those seven one-and-done playoff losses.
Albert Breer of NFL Network (who has joined in the “out of context” chorus and otherwise defended Irsay) has — coincidentally or not — gotten ongoing access to the Colts owner throughout the controversy. Most recently, Breer reports that Irsay has tried to call Peyton Manning, but that Irsay has yet to hear back from Peyton.
We predict that Irsay will hear from Peyton continuously between the hours of 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.