by Kent Sterling
Bob Kravitz is one of my favorite columnists for the same reason I enjoy him as a friend – he is always openminded in his relentless pursuit of the truth, and is always willing to acknowledge when he does not know something.
A lot of guys try to make it up as they go along and hope for the best, but not Bob. When he spent two-and-a-half hours with Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay to talk about struggle with addiction, his arrest for OWI in Carmel a few months ago, and any other diversion Irsay might have decided to take, Bob was unafraid to admit what he didn’t know – that addiction is a mysterious quarry.
Understanding the difference between disease and choice is not as easy as it seems, and Bob has spoken to enough experts to know it’s not as easy as expecting Irsay to sack up and refuse to indulge. Laymen can’t understand the powerlessness addicts feel as the cravings take hold
Irsay’s struggle has three possible outcomes – death, incarceration, or embracing the need for constant resolve and aid in working his program.
The column that Bob wrote a week ago was not the usual, “Hey, the Colts need to upgrade the interior of their offensive line” analysis. It was the story of a man who is genetically predisposed toward addiction and in the very early stages of his latest attempt at sobriety.
It required empathy, reason, humanity, and a delicate approach. Bob wasn’t a hard-nosed reporter, but a trusted ally in listening to and telling Irsay’s story. There were items during the interview that Bob was trusted not to divulge, and he didn’t – because he’s a human being first and journalist second.
There are practical reasons to allow Irsay the safe harbor of off-the-record conversation, but in Bob’s case he’s not a hard ass, and because of that, we as readers can trust what he writes and says.
Always honest, Bob is a great guest. He was just that on the radio with me as he talked about Irsay.