The NFL finally handed down its punishment for Jim Irsay’s March arrest for driving while intoxicated and four counts of possession of a controlled substance. The punishment was neither excessive nor too light, rather the commissioner got this one just right. 6 games, $500K. Effective as the working day of Wednesday closes at 5 PM, Irsay can neither be with the team nor tweet about the team for essentially 6 weeks, his life blood.
In his absence, COO Pete Ward and his daughter, Carlie Irsay-Gordon, will assume his responsibilities. It likely will have little to no impact actually on the football field, as GM Ryan Grigson and Head Coach Chuck Pagano’s roles will remain unchanged.
NFL’ Commisssioner, Roger Goodell, in the NFL’s official announcement noted:
“I have stated on numerous occasions that owners, management personnel and coaches must be held to a higher standard than players. We discussed this during our meeting and you expressed your support for that view, volunteering that owners should be held to the highest standard.”
To which, Irsay didn’t dispute:
“I acknowledge the mistake I made last March and stand responsible for the consequences of that mistake, for which I sincerely apologize to our community and to Colts fans everywhere. Even more importantly, though, I am committed to do everything in my power to turn this whole experience into a positive event for myself, my family, and the community. In retrospect, I now know that the incident opened my eyes to issues in my life that needed addressing and helped put me on the path to regain my health. Please know I am firmly committed to staying on my path to good health and I look forward to a great season.”
As previously discussed, Irsay made a reckless decision. He’s lucky that he didn’t harm himself let alone anyone else. As a person of tremendous power and influence, Colts’ owner Jim Irsay still has time to live his life in a way that those will ultimately remember him for. To define his legacy. I’ll give him credit for owning up to his mistake and apologizing to the community and fans, but talk is cheap, it’s how you conduct yourself that ultimately matters and how you’ll be remembered.