Mar 7, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay announces that Peyton Manning (not pictured) will be released from the team during a press conference at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Look, I'm the LAST person on the planet to lecture anyone on what they should and should not post on Twitter. I'm all over the place with my Tweets with everything ranging from my views on Jerry Sandusky (I consider him a very sick man who needs help, not an "evil villain"), the 30th anniversary of Blade Runner (I was 14 when the 10th anniversary edition was re-released in theaters), and opinions on local Indianapolis media personalities (Dan Dakich is kind of a jerk, or so some of his former co-workers have told me). All that in addition to any insights or opinions I have about the Colts and the NFL. I tweet a lot. I'm cooky that way.
That said, if I were ever handed the keys to a multibillion dollar NFL franchise, you'd probably see me become a little less chatty on Twitter. While I think the idea of Colts owner Jim Irsay having a Twitter account is great, the reality is Irsay continues to both embarrass himself and his franchise nearly every time he gets into it with someone in the media.
Recently, he had a clown suit fitted for him by Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio.
In a Twitter response that was equal parts ranting, whining, and head-scratching insanity, Irsay took issue with Florio after the PFT editor closed a recent article (that was focused on Andrew Luck and his contract) with this dig at Irsay's often indecipherable Tweets:
Luck likely will be free to endorse whatever he wants to endorse, including the use of images of his Stanford graduation to be included in a campaign for online courses aimed at teaching rich, middle-aged white guys how to type legibly on Twitter.
Yes, it was this sentence that apparently sent Irsay into a tizzy, going so far as suggest Florio is a racist who hates old people. I've re-read Florio's sentence ten times, and I still have no clue what the hell Irsay was thinking responding to the article and Florio in this way.
Mike Florio,this is a graffiti tweet site,mis-spelling n slang rein intentionally;but 4 you to bring up race,age,eco-status is inappropriate— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) June 25, 2012
Mike Florio,ur comment about"campaign for online courses aimed at..white guys how to type legibly on Twitter",what do u mean? As opposed to?— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) June 25, 2012
Florio then responded to Irsay's rambling, pointing out Irsay had misquoted him (and if Irsay needs someone to provide the definition of misquote, I suggest he NOT ask ).
@JimIrsay . . . The full term was "rich, middle-aged white guys," and since you're asking I meant "Jim Irsay."— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) June 25, 2012
The whole thing ended with Irsay responding to a PFT reader (not Florio, but a reader) with this:
Oh really Wes LaFever..so you like racist slurs,age discrimination and class warfare? Is that what your cheering about? I'm asking?— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) June 25, 2012
To borrow a line from one of the other Twitter commenters who responded to Irsay, calling a white guy a 'white guy' isn't a racist slur. Calling Jim Irsay 'middle-aged' isn't age discrimination. Calling Jim Irsay 'rich' isn't class warfare. If you disagree with me and just about everyone else on those points, then you're just as clueless and buffoonish as Irsay looks right now.
In any case, the real question here is WHY DOES JIM IRSAY EVEN CARE WHAT MIKE FLORIO SAYS ABOUT HIM!!! And of all things to get pissy about, it's this? I mean, really? Is Jim Irsay THAT sensitive that he freaks out when Mike Florio notes his very obvious tendency to not make any sense whatsoever on Twitter?
Here's my problem with all this (aside from our owner, you know, acting like a moron, again): Let's say, for the sake of mindless offseason discussion, that a Colts player during the regular season loses his cool and starts ranting at a member of the media. Doesn't matter if he does it on TV or on Twitter. The exchange is embarrassing and doesn't paint the player in a positive light. Think Ricky Watters in Philadelphia circa 1995 ("For who? For what?"). After the player does this, how can Irsay step forward and lecture the guy on acting professional with the media? How can Irsay reinforce a message of "Ignore the negativity of the media and focus on the team" when he doesn't even follow that code himself?
Yeah, it's a slow news day, but still. This isn't the first time Irsay has looked like a schmuck on Twitter. The man has consistently bungles his message when he uses the new media tool. At some point, maybe one of his daughters needs to intercede, take the Twitter app off his iPhone, and tell the 53-year-old to only issue press releases through the communications team. I can't believe I'm writing this because I am a creature of new media, but enough is enough.
Irsay is KILLING his public credibility, which was already on shaky ground.
Please, don't get me wrong here. I like Irsay as an owner and I respect him, but it is impossible to defend him when he acts this way, and you are a fool is you think it hasn't, in some way, affected fan apathy towards him and his franchise.