By now we have all read the accounts of Mr. Irsay’s arrest in Carmel late Sunday early Monday morning. Irsay is facing some serious charges after being pulled over by police, after they noticed that the car was moving suspiciously slow. Police indicate that he failed several road sobriety test and was booked for suspicion of DWI and possession of several prescription drugs not in prescription bottles. The charges of possession are much more worrisome than the DWI. I am not condoning the DWI, just stating the charges for possession are felonies, whereas the DWI is a misdemeanor. Bob Kravitz of the Indy Star wrote an excellent article about Irsay’s current state and the concern of those who know him best. http://www.indystar.com/story/sports/kravitz/2014/03/17/kravitz-irsay-fighting-for-his-life-needs-help/6523925/
What does this mean for the Colts and more importantly, what does it mean for Irsay? Quite simply, he will have to get the help the he has been avoiding. I don’t know if this rock bottom but if it’s not, it’s darn close. The charges are serious enough that there will probably be some penalties levied by the league; and more importantly the commissioner will probably make sure that Irsay deals with his demons. Irsay has struggled with alcoholism and addiction- both traits often are inherited or are a predisposition to a condition. His father, Robert Irsay had serious alcohol issues and Jim has often alluded to those as a reason that he would beat the condition so that he would not follow in his father’s footsteps. According to Jim, he has been sober for 15 years from alcohol, but his weakness seems to be more concentrated with prescription painkillers. Irsay reportedly went under the knife last year to fix a knee that he has had trouble with, and one could wonder if this caused the relapse. It is speculation at this point, so I won’t say that is the cause, but if you look at pictures before and after he looks remarkably different.
Where does he go from here? First and foremost, he needs to take care of the addiction issues that are currently hurting him both professionally and more importantly personally. Besides dealing with the legal issues Mr. Irsay needs to find some program to help the underlying problems that he is now dealing with. In my opinion, the best thing for him right now is to take a leave of absence from the team to deal with all of the current issues and get in a good frame of mind. The timing is not ideal being close to the draft, but the staff he has in place is more than able to compensate for his absence. He should appoint his daughters or someone he trusts to take over the day to day issues he deals with as owner until he is able to return in a healthy, productive manner.
I know that some will dump on him because of the DWI, but he needs the support of his community. Mr. Irsay has done so much for the community and is one the most generous people out there. He just has issues like many of us out there. Now is the time to stand up and support our owner. You can hate his actions but still show support for the person. Clearly he needs help, let’s show what type of community we are by supporting him in this battle that could be for his life! The legal process will take its course, but we can separate the legal side from the personal side. That is what he needs right now.