Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay took considerable heat last week for hiring Jeff Saturday as interim head coach.
Now he's enjoying the fruits of his Week 10 success.
Saturday took over an NFL locker room midseason having never coached in any capacity at the NFL or college level. He did so while the Colts bypassed candidates on staff with actual qualifications for the job in a league that preaches meritocracy as minority candidates are regularly bypassed for opportunities. Much of the criticism was justified.
From columnists to ex-coaches to ex-players, critics lined up to blast Irsay's decision all the way up to Sunday's kickoff. Irsay heard the rumblings before the ink on the deal was dry and challenged his critics to "bet against" the new Colts coach at Saturday's introductory news conference.
“You want to bet against this guy?” Irsay asked. “Put your money down, people. Love to see it.”
Then on Sunday, Saturday's Colts went out and posted a road win over the Las Vegas Raiders in his head-coaching debut. And they looked good while doing it.
Is Irsay taking a victory lap? You bet Irsay's taking a victory lap:
All you critics…you criticize all of us in the NFL for losing…When we make moves to Win… you act so righteous! “Who You Crappin’..”. Just Win,Baby!!🏈✌️
— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) November 14, 2022
That is quite the Monday victory tweet. There's a lot to digest here. There's the "Just win, Baby!!" channeling of late Raiders owner and kindred rebel spirit Al Davis. There's the "righteous" accusation lobbed at critics that's familiar to anyone who's been on Twitter and witnessed a person in power lash out at media.
But the coup de grâce is "Who You Crappin,'" which appears to reference a former Chicago sports talk radio show with a "Who ya Crappin?" segment that lampooned sports figures, Irsay included. Is it a critique of the show? Is it a shout-out? Was Irsay a fan?
Or is it completely unrelated and just something Irsay felt like tweeting on Monday? It's all part of Irsay's charm as one of football's most enigmatic executives.
Monday wasn't Irsay's first run at a victory lap. He took a prior one Sunday before boarding his jet in Las Vegas. It was considerably more subdued.
And good for Irsay. Sunday went as well as it possibly could have. Irsay might as well make the most of it while he can. Things aren't getting any easier next week when the Philadelphia Eagles come to town. And Sunday's win certainly didn't fix all that's ailing the Colts.
But if Indianapolis does manage to turn its season around and into a playoff run, you can also bet this won't be the last we hear from Irsay on this front.