Monday, October 4, 2010

What Happens to Irsay When Colts Return to Ordinary?

Yesterday, the Colts lost on a last second field goal to Jacksonville. The record of the team fell to a very ordinary 2-2.

Most observers still consider the Colts the best team in the AFC South and a Super Bowl contender. However, this past month highlights the future for the Colts - a return to average as soon as the Peyton Manning era is over if not before.

When the Colts return to average (or worse), what happens to owner Jim Irsay? Unlike the Simons, the owner of the City's other major league sports franchise, Irsay has not given back to the community. Irsay has taken millions, indeed billions, from Indianapolis taxpayers and, in return, provided "only" a Super Bowl caliber team. What happens though when that Super Bowl caliber team is no longer.

Unlike the Colts players, Irsay has never been charitable toward the public. I remember a few years ago when a tornado hit the east side of Indianapolis and flooding devastated parts of Southern Indiana. Irsay pledged a whole $50,000 for relief efforts for those twin tragedies...assuming that the public matched his $50,000 pledge.

People are angry about how the Colts and Pacers have taken money out of our community far in excess of any economic benefit those franchises bring to the City. However, the Pacers have taken most of the hits. The Colts' winning ways have quite simply shielded Irsay from much deserved criticism for his disdain toward the public.

The day is nearing when Irsay won't be able to hide behind winning. What happens then?


dcrutch said...

We pay even longer.

Currently, per the New York Times article recently circulated, we rank second or third in stadium debt (including still paying off the demolished Hoosier Dome).

Cato said...

"The record of the team fell to a very ordinary 2-20."

Oh, how I wish.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Thanks, Cato. Caught the error. I'm pretty sure 2-20 wouldn't be ordinary.

M Theory said...

Yes, the public debt for the stadium is among the highest and the Ir$ay'$ are among the richest team owners.