Coming off a 2-14 season, it is easy to understand that Jim Irsay plans on rebuilding the Indianapolis Colts. But in his process of "rebuilding," he has completely torn apart their roster and hurt the feelings of Colts Nation.
Fan favorites who played their hearts out every week were quickly released. So if rebuilding simply means to have a younger team and wound a fan base, Irsay is the most successful owner in the history of all of sports.
The Peyton Manning saga did not have to end this way. Both owner and player had stated that they wanted No. 18 to be a Colt for life.
So why would Irsay have a public spat with Manning around the time of the Super Bowl? If it was inevitable that Manning couldn't be a Colt for life, the lack of respect was despicable.
As Irsay said, he will make decisions that will only benefit the "Horseshoe." Guess what Irsay, Manning was your franchise. Perhaps the greatest quarterback of all time, Manning made the Colts relevant, feared and immensely successful. Heck, his value was upped that much more when Indy fell apart in 2011.
So while the decision to release Manning can make sense, the way Irsay handled it was very unprofessional. Just because they had a press conference to formally announce their divorce, what preceded that was a shame.
The bickering after Manning saying he passed his physical was just ridiculous. All Manning has known his whole life was football, so it makes sense that he just wanted to play. Irsay called Manning a politician. Are you serious?
Why wouldn't Manning hurt after seeing the only coaches he has known in professional football cleaning out their offices? The lack of sensitivity and respect for the franchise player was actually a sign that things would never be the same in Indianapolis.
There is a reason why many coaches do not like their players using Twitter. But when Jim Irsay is causing controversy and drama about his quarterback on social media, of course speculation arises.
What other owner in all of sports would take to Twitter to discuss "serious" matters? If Manning's career as a Colt was to end, Irsay's apathy would horrendous.
It's understandable that decisions like releasing Manning are hard. However, there is no excuse for the extent of the mess Irsay created.
Colts Nation should not just see the press conference and think that they have a classy organization. Manning was a true professional. Irsay is tearing Indianapolis apart and the off-season has just begun.
How can a team get better by releasing Gary Brackett, Dallas Clark, Melvin Bullitt and Joseph Addai? These captains and Pro Bowlers helped the Colts create a dynasty. They set an NFL record by winning 115 games in a decade.
Even if Irsay wanted to get younger, he just gave these players away. It's ridiculous to think he could not have gotten any compensation. Oh, and while he is shopping Dwight Freeney, at least he locked up Robert Mathis? What is going on here?
Colts fans should be livid. Irsay is not respecting the franchise, the city and the fans. Colts Nation fell in love with these players, yet they were just given away. Is this rebuilding or overreacting? It's horrible to see matters taken to this extent.
Having a young team won't benefit Indianapolis in 2012. There will be no veteran leadership or experience to guide the Colts through this rough patch. Rather than trying to stick it out and fight through this mess with the players who built the Colts, Irsay is washing his hands of them and running away from what he created.
If any Colts fans are upset, you are not alone. It is unbelievable to see an owner go from what seemed to be a class act to a villain. There is no respect or sensitivity for the roster or the fans.
Cleaning house is supposed to be an effort to get younger and better. With Indy releasing their good players, the 2012 Colts will have the lousy players that helped them to a 2-14 season. There is no balance between youth and experience in Indianapolis.
I hope Jim Irsay realizes what he has done to Colts nation. One lousy season should not overlook a decade of excellence. He is in a panic and completely overreacting right now.
While Colts fans will always appreciate the players that built a dynasty, no franchise in the history of sports has taken this drastic of actions.
So while Irsay will continue to do his own thing, he has made it clear that the Colts belong to him. He has not taken the feelings of Indianapolis into consideration. And as 2012 progresses, the Colts will be less and less of the Colts Indianapolis grew to love.
And it never had to be this way.