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Kravitz calls for Irsay to start over

Jim Irsay

Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, talks to reporters as he arrives for meetings in Rosemont, Ill., Tuesday, June 21, 2011. NFL owners gathered to discuss the status of negotiations with the players for a new collective bargaining agreement. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)


Once upon a time, there was a perception that the Indianapolis media kowtowed to the Colts.

Not anymore.

Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star, whose recent critique of the father-son exercise in front-office nepotism prompted Bill Polian to indirectly call Kravitz a rat (and Bob adjusted his Twitter avatar accordingly), has now called for owner Jim Irsay to use the looming acquisition of the first pick in the draft as the occasion to clean house.

Kravitz makes his case in the context of the decision to give quarterback Curtis Painter another shot. “With Bill in particular, it’s all about being ‘vindicated.’ It’s all about being able to say he was right.” Kravitz reasons. “Which is why Jim Irsay has to use the chance to draft Andrew Luck as a springboard to clear the decks, jettison the front office and the coach and start over.”

Kravitz’s broader point is that, for the second time in three years, the franchise has abandoned its fans. In 2009, the ridiculous (and clumsily defended) decision not to pursue an undefeated season sparked a loud and extended mutiny. Now, Kravitz believes that the Colts simply aren’t trying to win.

Kravitz doesn’t mention arguably the best evidence to support the conclusion that the Colts care not about winning. By failing to submit a waivers claim for former Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton, the Colts let it be known, in a roundabout way, that they’re not going to try to win games.

See, the “Suck for Luck” concept isn’t about convincing the players who are on the field to not try to win. It’s about putting players on the field who are less likely to win.

For the Colts, that means not using Dan Orlovsky. And it means not acquiring Kyle Orton.

With a loss to the 2-8 Panthers on Sunday, the Colts essentially will clinch the first overall pick, barring an expected run of good luck down the stretch. Once the right to reel in Andrew Luck has been secured, Irsay must decide whether to clean house.

He may have to do it in order to dissuade the current Stanford blue-chip quarterback from doing what the last one did. In 1983, John Elway told the Baltimore Colts to get bent. Early next year, Andrew Luck could decide that he doesn’t want to work for an organization that arguably is dysfunctional on several different levels.