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Indianapolis Colts: How Jim Irsay's Tweet Hurt the Colts

Jim Irsay alerted the league via twitter that Peyton Manning may be out "awhile", information I doubt Jim Caldwell was eager to share.
Jim Irsay alerted the league via twitter that Peyton Manning may be out "awhile", information I doubt Jim Caldwell was eager to share.Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Luke LavoieContributor IISeptember 8, 2011

The Irsay family has one of the more, shall we say, interesting histories amongst NFL ownership groups. The family is best known for patriarch Robert Irsay's hostile relocation of the Baltimore Colts in the mid 80's, not one of the league's finer moments.   

Jim Irsay continued that tradition earlier today with one of the more puzzling moves by an owner in recent memory, stating via twitter,

"NFL Season opens 2nite! We had a good practice yesterday and r guys r fired up 4 the season. #18's out for awhile,but compete,we will/BELIEVE"

While Jim Irsay's tweet about Peyton Manning's health isn't nearly as troubling as some of his father's actions, it does make you scratch your head a little.

I suppose it could be worse. Imagine if twitter existed when Robert Irsay was at the helm? And we think Logan Morrison is bad.

Obviously Irsay's tweet is making headlines because of what it says, but what is almost as alarming to me is that he's saying anything at all.

If I'm an NFL coach, I do not want my players, coaches, personnel, and especially not my owner, tweeting breaking news about the status of my team. You have to believe Jim Caldwell is not happy to learn that the entire league is privy to the injury status of his star player.

The AFC South and the rest of the Colts opponents couldn't be happier to learn that one of the game's more difficult players to game plan for is going to miss significant time. Instead of having to prepare for two offensive scenarios, now all opposing coaching staffs have to do is figure out ways to shut down 38-year old backup Kerry Collins; not exactly the most challenging task.

For sports fans, twitter has been a godsend. It gives us unedited access to our favorite players and sports personalities, while simultaneously providing us with up to the minute information.

For teams and coaches, it couldn't be worse. The league and its owners love to have control. In the era before social media, the only way to release information was through mainstream media outlets like television stations and newspapers.

This format made it easier for a team to control the information that got released and how quickly it was disseminated.

Our modern world of interconnection allows for information to flow more freely and rapidly than ever before, making previously filtered comments, like Jim Irsay's tweet, available to the public.

When it comes to injury statuses and things of that nature, team personnel would be wise to play their cards close to the vest. Unfortunately for Colts fans, Jim Irsay learned that lesson the hard way.  

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