last month – will take this to their grave. They will not consider any “lightening of the load” or forgiveness, even though the Ravens have essentially improved on our civic football marriage from what would have been a disastrous curve had Bob Irsay kept the Colts here.
But I’m talking forgiveness here after 26 years. I’ve carried the cross – literally – for the “Irsay Sucks” movement for a generation in the name of my father, John Steadman, Loudy Loudenslager and many others but today, I’m burying the hatchet once and for all.
The Hatfields and the McCoys couldn’t do it. Israel and the muslim community can’t seem to do it. And quite frankly, I hope the Red Sox and the Yankees NEVER do it. But the case of Aparicio vs. (all things) Irsay is now closed.
Here is the video of my final “anti-Irsay” rally in Indianapolis from January’s big downtown purple walk-in:
I’ve exacted more than my measure of flesh over the last 26 years and now it’s only tarnishing my view of the world and my own dignity, which is already pretty grim because of the situations and the stench I smell emanating from Camden Yards on an annual basis, much of it far worse than anything Irsay ever did here.
What Jim Irsay’s father did was a mortal sin to our people and our community. I have no idea what your religion is these days but if you still have one I bet that forgiveness is at the top of the list of “to do’s.” So, today I’m publicly forgiving and pardoning the Irsay name from this point forward. My Pop would be proud because I made this pronouncement on a Sunday morning as he was a Catholic man. And he always taught me to forgive, even if he didn’t always practice what he preached.
Jim Irsay has done all that he can do and I’m not a very good man if I don’t acknowledge what a classy guy he’s been toward me and what today represents in my own personal growth.
So on March 28th, in this year of two thousand and ten, I proclaim myself free of all past anger toward the Irsay family and the city of Indianapolis over the move of the Colts.
In the name of the kindnesses of Pete Ward, Craig Kelley, Stephanie Paul, Brandon Stokley, Matt Stover, Ted Marchibroda, Tony Siragusa, Jim Harbaugh, Pat Coyle and anyone else I’m forgetting who have all been classy and dignified (well, maybe except for Goose…lol) wearers of my father’s stolen horseshoe amidst my solemn and justified anger over the past 26 years, I’m here to say you were right: Jim Irsay is a very good man and deserves my praise and respect from this point forward.
Last Monday, I told him my story of Baltimore coaching and leadership growth wouldn’t be complete without him. After a brief conversation, he agreed with me and introduced me to his V.P. Pete Ward and kept his word amidst a crazy day in Orlando. He sat with me and was very profound in a lot of his observations about leadership and people. He’s been a complete gentleman