As the headlines “Jim Irsay arrested on drunk-driving and possession charges” hit the internet early Monday morning, it was a huge black eye on the NFL. Few images are more damaging to a big-time sports league than one of its owners being escorted into a police station in handcuffs. It’s the one thing worse than having one of its marquee players doing the same perp walk.
But it has to be even worse personally for Irsay himself, because he has struggled with drug and alcohol problems most of his adult life. Those struggles seemed to be a thing of the past, according to this tweet from Irsay in October:
Unfortunately, it seems to be a case of like father, like son. His father was an alcoholic – Bob Irsay, Public Enemy No. 1 in Baltimore, the man who moved the Colts to Indianapolis.
The younger Irsay has spent much of his time as an executive and owner with the Colts explaining and apologizing for his father’s actions and describing what it was like living and being in the football business with him.
Here is one of Bob Irsay’s worst moments, a press conference at the airport in Baltimore after returning from Phoenix to discuss moving the Colts, then drunkenly denying that’s where he was. And in this clip, from ESPN’s 30 For 30 documentary “The Band That Wouldn’t Die”? talking about that night in 1984? Jim Irsay.