After the Colts blew a 16-point fourth-quarter lead to Baltimore on national TV, Jim Irsay is doing his best to reassure fans that brighter days are ahead.
The team owner is well-known for his bold claims about his Super Bowl aspirations for the franchise. He was at it again Tuesday night.
Colts fans should appreciate Irsay’s expectations and passion for success. This is far from the first time he has predicted that big things are ahead for the franchise.
May 2015: ‘We’d like to win at least two world championships’
In May 2015, prior to the NFL Draft, Irsay said he wanted the franchise to win multiple Lombardis during the Andrew Luck era. The team had just come off its second consecutive AFC South title in 2014, when Luck had thrown 40 touchdown passes.
“The realization is, for the lack of a better word, in the Andrew Luck era, we’d like to win at least two world championships,” Irsay said. “We don’t shy away from that fact.”
Andrew Luck’s health proved to be the story of the 2015 season, during which the team went 8-8 and missed the playoffs.
June 2017: ‘I’ll be damned’ if Colts don’t win multiple Lombardis
After a 2016 season that saw the Colts finish 8-8 and miss the playoffs for a second straight season. Luck missed just one game, but was on the injury report each week.
“I’ve said it before – we’re into plural Lombardis,” Irsay said during a town hall for season ticket holders heading into the 2017 season. “That’s what our goal is. And I’ll be damned if we don’t go out and get them.”
After having surgery in January to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder suffered early during the 2015 season, Luck missed the entire 2017 season. Shoulder soreness persisted. He was placed on injured reserve in November, and sought treatment in Europe.
The Colts went 4-12 and missed the playoffs for the third straight season.
August 2018: ‘A great renaissance’
During training camp in 2018, Irsay said “a great renaissance period is about to unfold upon us.”
Irsay said Luck was “extremely healthy” and that the owner had “no doubt” about his arm strength entering the year.
Luck started all 16 games for the Colts, throwing for career-high 4,593 yards while throwing 39 touchdown passes. The team went 10-6 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2014. Luck was named the Comeback Player of the Year.
April 2019: ‘That Lombardi Trophy is going to be risen again down Main Street’
In April 2019, Irsay said he “never felt so certain about something in my life” as the Lombardi Trophy coming back to Indianapolis.
“As an owner, when you have greatness and harmony, I have a certainty in my heart that this organization is going to bring a parade, and that Lombardi Trophy is going to be risen again down Main Street,” Irsay said. “It will happen, gentlemen, I promise you it will.”
In August, Luck stunned the sports world with his abrupt retirement at the age of 29.