Please Jim, STFU from here on out. I fully expect Peyton to break all time records against us on sunday now
"We've changed our model a little bit, because we wanted more than one of these," Irsay says, flicking up his right hand to show his Super Bowl XLI championship ring.
"(Tom) Brady never had consistent numbers, but he has three of these," Irsay adds. "Pittsburgh had two, the Giants had two, Baltimore had two and we had one. That leaves you frustrated.
"You make the playoffs 11 times, and you're out in the first round seven out of 11 times. You love to have the Star Wars numbers from Peyton and Marvin (Harrison) and Reggie (Wayne). Mostly, you love this."
Then Irsay flicks up his right hand again.
Make no mistake. Irsay truly appreciates how Manning put his franchise back on the map, triggering a run of success — Indy won at least 12 games in seven consecutive seasons — that even contributed to the plush new stadium that has already hosted one Super Bowl and is in the running for another.
Yet Irsay sounds like he's hurt to have just the one ring.
In outlining the mission to Grigson and Pagano, he says, he demanded that they build a well-rounded team, with the offense supported by outstanding special teams and a dependable defense.
"We were schizophrenic," Irsay says. "I walked into the locker room, and Bill Polian comes up to me. He says, 'It's over.'
"'What are you talking about? We're in the playoffs. It can't be over.'
"'Too many injuries. It's over.'
"Tony Dungy was like, 'It's not over. We can fix this thing.'
"In the playoffs, we ran the ball, we stopped the run. That's what won us the Super Bowl. But we were Jekyll-and-Hyde schizophrenic.
"In looking at, again, how to build this thing, you really focus in."
So the centerpiece of Indianapolis' past will get a glimpse of the future Sunday night, with the team planning to honor Manning with a pregame tribute.
Irsay will lead the welcoming party, but clearly he has no regrets.