I guess if you were sentenced to hang out with one NFL owner, Jim Irsay might be atop the list. He at least has an identifiable love of music, which gives him something in common with most other people. We have no idea what most owners do for fun, aside from probably making their gardeners fight to the death in front of their golf buddies for money. Unless we’re talking about Dan Snyder, whose idea of fun, I can only assume, is to devise a list of enemies that is almost certainly 75 percent made up of the girls who rejected him in seventh grade. There’s at least something you can talk about in the company of Irsay and not have him look at you like you’re some kind of subterranean creature. You might look at him that way, but he is probably capable of an actual conversation. Yes, he’s almost certainly unhinged and disconnected from reality like any other billionaire, and likely would punt your dog into a river for an extra $20 just like the rest of them. There’s just one plane to which you might relate.
Or at least, that’s what I thought before I saw Monday night’s presser after he fired his coach (and it’s clear that he fired Frank Reich and not GM Chris Ballard). Now I’m not sure Irsay can have a conversation with anyone other than the voices in his head and at nothing less than full volume. In case you’d like to watch the whole thing, but bring a raincoat:
First off, it’s uncouth at best to call a presser during Monday Night Football, and gives the appearance you might be trying to duck all the attention that you’ve earned coming your way. The national eyes at least are distracted. Speaking of appearances, Irsay looks more and more like a beer coaster the bartender forgot to clear away.
Irsay then spent the first three minutes of the presser lauding Reich and his accomplishments, pointing out how successful he’d been, and then took his first shot at… well, everyone, declaring that “it doesn’t matter what your opinion is” of Reich, which might lead one to wonder why the fuck he fired him in the first place.
Irsay then turned his attention to Jeff Saturday, describing him as “fully experienced.” This will be news to a variety of ESPN personalities who might now think they’re in line for a head coaching job in the NFL. Does Saturday know their playbook on either side of the ball? Is he coming in with his own? These are not questions Irsay has considered, because he’s just feelin’ the groove, man. Hey, I sold programs outside the United Center for eight years, guess I’m ready to own the Bulls.
Irsay then goes on to declare that Saturday can be a great coach because he blocked a variety of guys when he was playing, and then tells a couple of jokes that only he gets that push him further and further into looking and sounding like Dr. Weird. Which only got better as he compared the situation to Don Shula, and then claimed the game hadn’t changed in the interim. He then claimed it’s a simple job, which must be why there’s like four guys who remain good at it for more than a handful of seasons.
There was some word salad about integrity and the people we are, so now time for an Irsay sampler:
Some other nuggets:
“I’m not asking anyone to do anything I haven’t done.” Colts fans can look forward to Coach Irsay somewhere around Week 13, then.
“There will be an interview process after the season for a new permanent coach. This is for eight games, hopefully more.” Well, which is it?
“…(when he hired Tony Dungy) then we wanted a winning coach, a playoff winning coach.” Apparently now he just wants a drinking buddy. 2023 season ticket deposits are due any day now, I’m sure.
“I’m glad he doesn’t have any experience. They’re afraid. They go to analytics.” Ah, there it is. This is never too far down the block for a codger, is it? This ignores that going by analytics, as it were, remains the brave choice given how many old football men (kinda like Irsay!) scream and yell whenever a coach does. If Saturday ever goes for it on fourth down before the last two minutes, Irsay is going to shit out a chicken squeezed into a Jim Beam bottle.
“We were glad he was available. And he has tons of experience.” He was a fucking TV analyst. Who was beating down his door? And you just said you were glad he didn’t have any coaching experience! This sounds like some sort of theory of the world being put forth in the parking lot of a Dead show. Which it probably was at some point.
By the way, all of this was in the first eight minutes.
With Al Davis not around anymore, and his kid only play-acting as the rogue owner, I guess Irsay feels it’s his time to shine. His latest audition makes him a shoo-in for the role.
Anyway, here’s Scottie Barnes making Nikola Vucevic and Alex Caruso look like they were scenery in a 4th-grade play: