Colts owner has way with words

Irsay active on Twitter and uses lyrical prose to get points across to followers and team

The temptation is to define the man, or at least his body of work, by 140 character messages.

Yes, the Colts' owner is an active and wildly popular tweeter with more than 180,000 followers.

But the owner of the Colts is Jim Irsay, not @JimIrsay.

That is guitar-playing, song-writing, memorabilia-collecting, loud suit-wearing, team-owning Jim Irsay.

As a 53-year old who has been active in the NFL for 41 years, Irsay is a free spirit who has come to appreciate stability.

But he has been rocking the Colts' boat quite a bit lately.

The Loyola Academy graduate from Winnetka recently caused a stir with a series of tweets that hinted the Colts were on the verge of a big deal.

"TRADE WINDS BLOWING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" he tweeted on Aug. 23.

Three days later the Colts acquired cornerback Vontae Davis from the Dolphins for a second-round draft pick.

Irsay took some heat over the unconventional way he set off a firestorm, and then he fired a few salvos back.

"If u don't like it buy ur own team and try to make the playoffs 9 seasons n a row n put together 7 straight 12 win seasons n a row as Owner!" he tweeted.

Irsay and his Colts have accomplished quite a bit, including winning the Super Bowl, getting a new stadium built and hosting a Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

He is an owner who can set trends.

When asked why he tweets, he said, "(Late Chiefs owner and NFL innovator) Lamar Hunt was always one of the people I watched and admired growing up. Like he did, you are always looking for ways to keep growing in terms of technology and what's available, and what brings fun into the game."

Many of Irsay's tweets have nothing to do with the NFL. He has mused on Andy Kaufman, Hunter S. Thompson and Paul Simon lyrics, to name a few.

"It's also to me an artistic way to communicate," he said. "There is a poetry to it. I've found it interesting that you can tweet a couple of lyrics from a song and people think, he's wild, he's crazy.

"In the Twitter account, I may come across as very different from (Steelers owner) Dan Rooney, for instance. But the way Dan and I operate our teams, where our core spiritual values are, really are lined up the same."

Like Rooney, Irsay likes to hire good people and keep them in place. So he found it heart wrenching to embark on the offseason housecleaning which saw Irsay sweep out top executive Bill Polian, coach Jim Caldwell, quarterback Peyton Manning and many of the other players who helped the Colts get the top.

"After we lost in Jacksonville and secured the first pick in the draft, I left the locker room and got on the bus," Irsay said. "Tears were rolling down my face. It was me realizing an era had come to an end. I knew the decisions I had to make."