- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

OPINION/ANALYSIS:

It’s good to be the king.

Or an NFL owner.


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Your subjects toil long and hard to support your empire, under the threat of harsh discipline if they break the rules. Even the appearance of impropriety can bring ramifications. The presumption of innocence is applied at your whim and sparingly.

But what happens when you’re the king and you’re arrested for intoxicated driving and four felony counts of narcotics possession?

If you’re Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, nothing happens. As least not for two months and counting.


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Since being pulled over on March 16, Irsay has conducted business as usual (aside from checking into an undisclosed rehab facility for an undisclosed stay, during which he might or might not have completed his treatment).

He took an indefinite leave of absence and skipped the owners’ meeting in Orlando a couple of weeks after his arrest. But there he was at in the Colts’ war room during the draft, heavily involved as always. There he was at the owners’ meeting in Atlanta this week, leading Indy’s bid for the 2018 Super Bowl. There he was in a media cluster, back in the middle of things after never leaving the loop.

“I’ve been clued into everything that’s been going on the last few months,” Irsay told reporters. “It’s good to be at this meeting and really try and focus on the Super Bowl bid.”

He shouldn’t have been at the meeting or in the war room. He shouldn’t have been involved in any team functions or league business. Commissioner Roger Goodell hasn’t held Irsay to the same standard applied to players, even though the standard for owners is supposed to be higher.

It’s hard to believe a player could represent his team or the league after that traffic stop in March.

According to police, Irsay failed multiple sobriety tests and had $2,513 in his wallet, $12,000 in one of two “laundry” bags, $14,516 in a briefcase and bottles of prescription drugs in a briefcase and the two bags.

None of that suggests “recreational user.”

Even uglier is the death of a female acquaintance two weeks before his arrest. Kimberly Wundrum died of a suspected drug overdose in a $139,500 townhouse that Irsay allegedly bought for her. Police want to know more about their relationship and association with drugs.

The commish has hammered players for less, but he says it’s too early for a call on Irsay. “There are no formal charges at this point,” Goodell told reporters Tuesday. “We want to understand the facts before we take any steps as it relates to potential discipline.

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