[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="441" caption=""Jim, I'm a big fan... Can I get an autograph?""]Caldwell, Polian
With the debacle that has been the management of Peyton Manning's injury and the backup quarterback position, the front office has not looked good. With the announcement coming in the middle of Jim Caldwell's press conference, the Colts' media relationship, and relationship with the fans, is in question once again.
Personally, I don't think that the Caldwell press conference thing is as big of a deal as Phil B or others are making it out to be, but I'll get to that.
First, there's been a number of complaints about Jim Irsay and his light-hearted tweets regarding Brett Favre. Personally, I wasn't offended by the tweets at all. I found them to be quite hilarious, just due to the fact that Favre wasn't an option at all. It didn't take any effort at all to find his flight, and you can generally tell the difference from actual news and random ramblings of Irsay.
Irsay reaches out to fans through his Twitter feed, and has become very likeable through it. Irsay has every right to share his thoughts via Twitter, and if any fan is following him, they should know his tendencies. They should know that his feed is not used as a valid news source, but is a stream-of-conciousness. Irsay's job as the Colts' owner doesn't mean that everything action he takes needs to be acting as a second PR person.
The fact that Irsay can have a sense of humor, and post a ridiculous poke at Favre and Brad Childress, makes me all the more glad to have him as an owner. I found the tweet hilarious, especially the way the big-time news corporations went after it without even confirming the unlikely story.
Do other owners have Twitter accounts? No, but that's why it's unique. I don't see the Twitter being a problem, at least, not yet.
Being classy, and setting the bar high doesn't mean that they need to include the media in every situation, in the way the media wants them to.
The Colts' job is to entertain fans. But the way that a team like the Colts does that is by winning championships, or at least competing for them. There job isn't to make the media happy, or even to make the fans happy with certain moves. They don't need to run the preseason the way the fans/media want them to, they don't need to play late season games the way certain fans/media want them to, and they don't need to relay news the way the media/fans want them to.
First, the preseason.
The Colts don't use the preseason to win games. They don't need to. The game's final score doesn't matter. The games are glorified practice runs. The Colts use them to evaluate individual players, attempting to get them into as many game-type situations as possible. They don't use it to evaluate the system as a whole. That's why they don't leave the starters in for very long, and it's why they try out so many different combination of offensive and defensive linemen.
To say that fans pay the full price for them, so the Colts should try more simply doesn't make sense. The entire NFL charges full price for preseason, the Colts don't really have a choice. No team tries their best in the preseason, to try to put more blame on the Colts for trying even less is ridiculous. Especially when you consider that every fan at a preseason game knows what they're in for. The fans know that it's a preseason game, they know that it won't be the same caliber competition as the regular season or playoffs. If the fan was dumb enough to pay full price for preseason tickets, and expect the experience to be the same as a regular season game, quite frankly, they deserve to be disappointed.
The Colts have used the preseason differently than other teams. It's worked for them. They come out to a fast start nearly every year, being 30-12 in Manning's career. Let them keep doing what they're doing.
Second, media relations.
Let me be clear here by saying that I would love it if the Colts provided more media access. As a fan, and a info-crazed one at that, I would absolutely love more information. I mean, I scour the web every day for news and analysis.
That being said, I'm think the Colts' way of dealing with the media is what they've decided works best for them. It's not what works best for me, or other members of the media, but it's what works best for the Colts.
So, I can't blame them. They don't need to worry about doing anything more than necessary when it comes to relating to the media. They have certain things they need to do, press conferences and whatnot, but they don't have to give us more detailed information. They don't need to be the bearer of personal information (Manning or Wayne's kids), they don't need to explain their thinking behind every move (if they did that, what would the media be left to speculate?).
It's not the Colts' job to keep people informed. That's the media's job. They find the information available, and report it to the masses (and then proceed to over analyze that information). Not every piece of information is available, and media personalities need to learn to live with it.
Others will say that the lack of information will lead to wild speculation, and that they should be more informative in order to protect against that.
Don't kid yourself. The media will always speculate. That's what they do. And honestly, the Colts don't care about the media's speculation. If they did, they would give out more information. But they don't. The Colts care about winning, and they've been successful in doing so under Polian and Irsay.
Look, I would love to know what Manning's daily routine is. I would love to be able to have a camera feed to Jim Caldwell's office, or Bill Polian's, 24/7 so I could hear those conversations. But, I can't. I've accepted that fact, and moved on. I promise. You won't read another article where I complain about the lack of a camera in the Colts office.
And the media should accept that the Colts aren't always going to do things the way the media wants them to. Fact of life. Get over it.
With the Caldwell press conference, I'm confused at why Phil B and others are so upset. Jim didn't mention the signing at the press conference? So?
How does this make Caldwell look bad? You can't say he didn't know about it, that's ridiculous. I don't really like Caldwell, but that's just an ignorant statement. He didn't announce the move to reporters at a press conference, so what? No teams announce moves the second they get confirmation. That's why there are so many “insider” guys in the media. Guys who have connections and can get the info before the team officially release it.
With the Caldwell situation, it seems like it was more of just Irsay going off and announcing the move via Twitter before the Polians/Caldwell had decided to release it. I don't think Caldwell knew Irsay was tweeting it at the very moment he was giving the press conference.
Some people seem to have this entitlement feeling that they should be made aware of news as soon as it happens.
That's not how the world works, and it certainly isn't how the Colts work.
And frankly, I'm just fine with that.