Saturday, February 04, 2012

How not to conduct yourself


Indianapolis is the host of the Super Bowl this year, and much like St. Paul when the Republican National Convention was in town, they are proud to have a national and narrow international spotlight aimed at their town. Fortunately, residents of St. Paul and the owners of the Xcel Energy Center didn't make the trip about themselves. In fact, I would say St. Paul came off looking well, with the anarchist protesters and the Republicans being the only ones that embarrassed themselves in any way (depending upon your political affiliation). The point is, St. Paul played the gracious hosts.
It's been slightly different in Indianapolis. The city is equally excited to represent itself to the world, and is generally a gracious host during other major events, like Big Ten Tournaments or Championships and the Indy 500, but that doesn't quite hold a candle to the Super Bowl, does it? From what I've heard, the city and the residents are having a great time, but the Colts and Peyton Manning are being selfish prigs.
First, there were sources saying that Manning had been cleared to play, perhaps in response to the reports earlier in the week that he was done for his career. Manning didn't come out and say anything, of course, but sources near him heard it, and I'm not foolish enough to think that he didn't have a hand in the process. Of course, doing this while the Super Bowl is in HIS town means that coverage will be on him. While it's a tactless move had this happened anywhere, in any Super Bowl, it's especially tacky in his home town with his brother playing in the game.
Compounding matters is owner Jim Irsay. He could have quickly come out with a statement to the press or on the Colts website. Instead he tweeted a denial at 130AM, local time. Super Bowl aside, that's just boorish behavior. Despite the game being in Indianapolis, and all the kudos before the game for the beautiful stadium and the team that got it built, Irsay and Manning are destroying any kind of good will.
It's to the point that I now believe that the winning years of the past decade were the exception. The Colts are a bad organization that got lucky when they picked Manning. They might get lucky with Andrew Luck as well, but it's increasingly clear it's not something the Irsays deserve.

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