by Kent Sterling
Jim Irsay is paying the price for backing away from the sobriety he gained a long time ago through diligent pursuit. There are plenty of reasons to address addiction, and they are starting to pile up for the Indianapolis Colts owner.
For a public figure, addiction brings vulnerability, and that vulnerability draws the greedy and financially decrepit.
The latest shoe to drop is a Morgan County judge’s ruling that Irsay must testify in a custody hearing in Martinsville. This comes four months after his arrest for OWI in Carmel.
Even exceptionally wealthy people face consequences when behaving erratically, and a judge’s order cannot be ignored just because driving to Martinsville is a pain in the ass.
According to the Indianapolis Star, Irsay purchased the home in which the mother of two boys aged 17 and 12 lives. The father, a former $1 million-plus lotto winner, is unhappy that a man addled by drug addiction is present in the lives of his children. He is also experiencing some financial distress as a real estate appraiser whose business has recently evaporated, which may or may not be at the center of this dispute. (That’s the Cliff’s Notes version. For more detail, click on the link above.)
Nothing like inconveniencing a billionaire to patch a gaping financial wound – especially for a guy who once had a small taste of largesse. He claims the motivation for asking successfully that Irsay testify has nothing to do with money, and everything to do with the ongoing welfare of his children.
The point though is that because of the very public struggles Irsay has had with addiction, his life has become closely examined, and those examinations will continue to cause disruption to his routine.
Irsay’s bench trial on the OWI will begin August 28th, and now he has this testimony to accommodate. The specter of a lengthy suspension by the NFL also looms. For a man who dearly loves running the Indianapolis Colts, and is in no mood to cede control of his team to his daughters, the road to calm is going to have some significant twists, turns, bumps, and dead ends.
It can all be so daunting, it’s left for us to wonder at what point Irsay will make the determination that his sobriety is the well spring from which all good flows. Maybe it has already happened, and a reasonable life of routine workdays as the owner of an extremely successful NFL franchise is in Irsay’s future as soon as the relics of his misspent recent past is dispatched.
Until then, Irsay’s cluttered calendar will be a daily reminder of the interwoven messes addiction can cause.