Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has been under fire the past 24 hours or so for comments he made to USA Today that have been interpreted as a slam on quarterback Peyton Manning for winning just one Super Bowl during his 14 years with the team.
So Irsay has taken to Twitter to defend himself, accusing people with "negative agendas" of misconstruing his words and saying that he was actually criticizing himself and Colts management for not giving Manning a more well-rounded team to work with.
In the original interview, Irsay talked about parting ways with Manning after the 2011 season and drafting quarterback Andrew Luck with the No. 1 overall pick as the team's quarterback of the future. He said that Manning had given his blessing for the move and that the salary cap essentially forced the team to cut ties with its four-time league MVP.
But then Irsay started talking about Super Bowl rings, flashing his around multiple times while saying:
"We've changed our model a little bit, because we wanted more than one of these. [New England quarterback Tom] Brady never had consistent numbers, but he has three of these. Pittsburgh had two, the Giants had two, Baltimore had two and we had one. That leaves you frustrated.
"You make the playoffs 11 times, and you're out in the first round seven out of 11 times. You love to have the 'Star Wars' numbers from Peyton and Marvin [Harrison] and Reggie [Wayne]. Mostly, you love this" -- waving his Super Bowl ring one more time.
Those comments rubbed many people the wrong way, including Manning's current coach in Denver, John Fox, who told SiriusXM NFL Radio:
"I saw the comments and to be honest with you I thought it was a bit of a cheap shot. To me, in my opinion, they were disappointing and inappropriate. I mean, Peyton would never say anything. He's too classy to do that. But they sounded a little ungrateful and unappreciative to me for a guy that has set a standard, won a Super Bowl, won division titles, won four MVP awards. I'd be thankful with that one Super Bowl ring because there's a lot of people that don't have one."
Irsay started playing the blame game on Twitter early Tuesday morning.
Those expressing negatIvity about the concept of building well rounded teams around great QBs 2 achieve Championships have negative agendas— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) October 16, 2013
The noise doesn't bother me,to quote the most loved Ind Colt of all time"I wanted to stay,Jim wanted me to stay,circumstances forced r hand"— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) October 16, 2013
He then started talking about the Colts' plans to honor Manning on Sunday night when the Broncos come to Lucas Oil Stadium. But several hours later, Irsay felt the need to attempt to explain what he had really been trying to say.
And then couldn't resist one more jab at the folks with negative agendas -- just for good measure.
[Updated at 9:56 a.m.: Irsay won't let the matter drop. These just in on Twitter:
Now that he has officially mentioned "the media" by name, let me point out that none of us own the Colts and, therefore, don't look like ingrates when we mention that Manning has won only one Super Bowl.]