Colts owner Jim Irsay is handling pro football business again, leading Indianapolis’ bid for the 2018 Super Bowl.
Irsay underwent treatment after he was arrested for having $29,000 in cash and bottles of prescription drugs in his car. The NFL owners’ meetings are Irsay’s first public appearance since the arrest.
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Irsay, 54, said Monday he is ”feeling decent,” but would not say if he would address his personal situation with the owners on Tuesday, insisting he is in Atlanta representing the bid committee.
”I’m here, if you want to talk about the Super Bowl bid or the Colts, I’m here to answer that,” Irsay said. ”I’m not going to really say anything beyond that.”
Irsay faces four felony counts of possession of controlled substances. He likely will be disciplined by the league at some point.
Asked if his arrest could affect the Indianapolis bid, Irsay was evasive.
”I’m excited about the bid and the job we’ve done in the past,” he said. ”I know in terms of trying to intertwine questions, that is your job, but I’m not really addressing those issues. I’m here like always to try to get this Super Bowl for Indianapolis.”
He said he’s kept informed on team affairs, although the Colts are being run by his daughter, Carlie, and general manager Ryan Grigson.
”I haven’t been in a coma or anything like that,” Irsay said. ”I’ve been clued into everything that’s been going on the last few months. It’s good to be at this meeting, really kind of focus on the Super Bowl bid. I’m really not going to talk about any personal medical issues or that sort of thing, but just grateful to be back, and certainly have a lot of appreciation for the support I’ve received. I’m all in.
”It feels good to be back and I’m excited about our chances tomorrow.”
Indianapolis, which hosted a highly successful Super Bowl in 2012 when the Giants beat the Patriots, is competing with New Orleans and Minneapolis for the 2018 game.
Irsay sounded eager to get back into the daily work of running his franchise, although he admitted he is not finished with his rehab.
”It’s a love. The league is dear to me,” he said. ”Family business, you’re blessed to be part of something like that. It’s a great privilege to be part of the NFL; you don’t take for granted … you just treasure it. I kind of feel like we’re getting ready for a big game. It’s one of those win-lose situations.”