Jim Irsay and Peyton Manning have gone from business partners to competitors. That hasn't changed how the Indianapolis Colts owner feels about the quarterback, who is set to appear in his first Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos.
"I just couldn't be more excited," Irsay told The Indianapolis Star on Wednesday. "This is what we were hoping it was going to be -- a win-win situation for everybody. I'm so happy for him. We've already talked this week about getting him some extra (Super Bowl) tickets and I told him, 'You've got it, buddy. Go get 'em. Go win it.' I wish him all the best.
"I couldn't be happier because he will forever be a Colt and a part of so many years of greatness here. I'm just really rooting for him to get that second ring. That would be awesome."
That said, Irsay also made sure to point out Wednesday he still believes Indianapolis made the right move to release Manning and draft Andrew Luck in 2012.
"And we're obviously on track; actually we're past where we thought we would be with Andrew," he said. "If Peyton had stayed, it would have been a joke with what we could have been able to field in 2012. It would have been crazy to think we could have put a team together with Peyton."
"It was just an impossibility. Now we have the perfect situation, where we're way ahead of schedule and Andrew is achieving things beyond our wildest expectations, and Peyton has a chance to get that second Super Bowl ring. It's been a win-win and that's what we were hoping for."
We'd say Irsay is using spin to avoid the reality that he let the greatest quarterback ever walk out the door. But he's right. Everybody won here. If only life always worked out this smoothly.