Peyton Manning: Colts Owner Jim Irsay to Blame for Ugly Ending to Manning Era

Wes ODonnellFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 30:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts shakes hands with team owner Jim Irsay during Media Day at Dolphin Stadium on January 30, 2007 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

There is no mistaking that Jim Irsay is the man in charge for the Indianapolis Colts right now, but that isn't a good thing.

The circus has been in town for some time now and it is Irsay driving the clown car, walking on stilts and breathing fire.

He is the ringleader of lunacy and he continues making a mess of a once carefully crafted organization.

Don Banks of Sports Illustrated hits the nail on the head when describing the end of the Peyton Manning era in Indy:

Under Bill Polian's stewardship, the Colts were as secretive and tight-lipped as any franchise in the league, guarding every scrap of football-related information as if it provided the competitive advantage that would make the difference between winning and losing the Super Bowl. That was the way the longtime Indianapolis football czar did business, he won with it, and it was understood that his methods would be followed.

But Polian has been gone for about 40 days now, fired along with his general manager son, Chris, and an information free-for-all has ensued on the Manning front in his absence. I'm not saying I miss the Polian Way, but this story, the team's messy end of the Manning era, has been like a driver-less car careening out of control. We're all just following it warily, trying to see where it goes next.

Where it is going next is into an era without No. 18 under center for the Colts.

INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 28:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts watches his teammates before the NFL game against the San Diego Chargers at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 28, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Unfortunately, that ending has become very public and very ugly, and Irsay is completely to blame for all of it.

There is no blaming Irsay for taking matters into his own hands in regards to the hiring and firing of coaches and decision makers. There is, however, reason to blame Irsay for how he's handling Peyton's future.

The Colts owner's commitment to his Twitter account and controversial tweets have caused quite a stir. His free-spirited release of information is a drastic difference from the way the Colts used to handle business.

We know the Colts need medical reasoning to cut Peyton before his $8 million roster bonus kicks in and we know that Irsay, on his own, will be handling Peyton's future with the team.

He's made that very well known and he's making a spectacle of something that needs to be anything but.

Indianapolis owns the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft and it is impossible for the start of the Andrew Luck era (or Robert Griffin III era if you want to believe that insane possibility) to not be tied to the ending of the Peyton Manning era.

That will forever be tainted by the way the Jim Irsay is handling things.