clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bill Polian's (ugh!) end of the 2009 season press conference

Here's a quote via zilla1126 from our Changes to Stampede Blue article (trust me, it relates to this article's title):

Gee, thanks zilla1126. Next time the Colts do something that's highly controversial and evokes tens of thousands of fans booing the team at home, I'll just keep my mouth shut in the hope that the Colts will notice my silence and reward it with "access" to their players and coaches.

Or, better yet, I'll do the job I'm paid to do, which is to voice my opinion in an unfiltered and uninhibited manner regardless of whether the Colts, or anyone else, like it.

WTF does all this have to do with Bill Polian's end of the season press conference?

Well, it turns out that Bill has, once again, acted like an ass in front of the very people who promote and report on the league that pays Bill millions of dollars to do what he does. At a press conference held yesterday described by AP writer Michael Marot as "surly," Bill Polian absolutely refused to talk about the Colts 31-17 loss in the Super Bowl to the Saints.

"The past is prologue," Bill kept repeating, as if stating it over and over again would stop reporters in the room from, you know, doing their job and stuff. However, regardless of whether Polian wanted to talk about the loss or not, the fact is lots of people wanted him to discuss the game. Rather than kindly telling these people, "Hi guys. The Super Bowl is done and I'm really tired of talking about it. I'd appreciate it if questions would be directed towards the draft, the Combine, free agency, etc," Bill got testy, acted like a jerk, and it became news.


In fact, Polian seemed to take it personally that reporters would dare to ask him questions about the team failing to win SB 44, as if Polian, and ONLY Polian, is the one who determines what is and isn't appropriate to discuss at a friggin press conference.

I've stated this over and over again: Bill Polian is a genius at building winning rosters in the NFL. He is the best personnel man this league has ever seen. Again, EVER! The man will be a first ballot Hall of Famer when he retires. Anyone who disagrees simply has no clue. However, Bill Polian is not the "general manager" of the Colts. He's the president, and with his job there is the responsibility of public relations, an area Polian is woefully bad at. Once again, I feel dirty because I agree with Mike Florio:

We recognize that Polian is very good at his job of acquiring and keeping football players.  But when it comes to talking publicly, the Colts should give thought to hiring a press secretary for their President.  Between Friday's refusal to talk about the Super Bowl, Tuesday's finger-pointing at players who will be a major part of the team's immediate future, and December's lame attempt to explain the decision to pull starters from the Week 16 game against the Jets, the Colts' best interests would be served by paying closer attention to the manner in which Polian presents the team's message to the rest of the football-watching world.

I am more than thankful Bill Polian is the man running the show in Indianapolis. However, Jim Irsay has got to step in and keep this guy away from reporters and fans. Hell, keep him away from league people as well. Lock him in a room and have him watch tape of college players all day. Let him emerge from the room in April for the draft, and then lock him back up again. He simply lacks the intellectual capacity to treat people with dignity and respect, and he takes things way, way, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay to personally.

While at the Super Bowl in Miami and Fort Lauderdale last week, it was obvious, talking to media and league people, that Bill Polian is pretty universally hated throughout the NFL. The reason for this is he routinely treats people like dog meat for seemingly no reason whatsoever. Oh, and if you ever dare to criticize him, he will use his influence to pressure your editor, or boss, or anyone else to get you to do what he thinks you should do. He has nothing but contempt for people who disagree with him, and dismisses any notion that how he conducts himself damages the image of the Colts as a football team.

Again, as a fan, I'm not looking for someone to be all smooth and silky when it comes to PR. Just don't be an ass. And Bill Polian, pretty much all season long, has acted like an ass. I personally think one of the reasons why he has acted so "surly" in public of late is the absence of Tony Dungy. When Dungy was around, he deflected a lot of the attention from Polian to himself. He had more cred than Polian, and he was much better at dealing with PR than Polian. Dungy was also very good at disarming Polian, getting him to calm down when stupid things would piss him off.

Jim Caldwell does not have Dungy's cred. He's seen as a copy, or an extension of Dungy. And the perception, whether correct or not, is that Caldwell is Polian's lap dog. I think that is an unfair characterization of Caldwell, but he has done little to debunk that image of late.

Again, I think the Colts need to give serious consideration to having someone like Chris Polian or Tom Telesco addressing the media and fans. Bill Polian is simply not good at not acting like a jerk. I'm sure he is a great guy personally. He has a reputation for being fiercely loyal to his staff and he will stand up for any one of them. That is admirable. However, he absolutely must stop pissing off media and fans. It creates more needless distractions that hinder this team's ability to do what he wants them to do, which is move forward. If he'd just answered the damn questions and not been a schmuck about the whole thing, his press conference would not have turned into a national friggin' story.

And, with all that, I'm sure the Colts will get red-faced and angry that I dared to speak my mind again. They'll go on ignoring me and the tens of thousands of Colts fans who hit this site daily. Meanwhile, everyone and their mother will continue to ask "Why aren't they credentialing blogs like Stampede Blue?" and the answer I will give them is the team hates media and fans who disagree with them.

So childish.

You can see the video of Bill Polian's end of the season press conference here.