Jim Irsay 'grateful to be back,' will make Super Bowl pitch at owners' meeting

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Irsay refused to comment on his arrest but told the media on Monday he will represent Indianapolis's Super Bowl bid on Tuesday.

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay wasn't concerned with dragging up the past during his first public comments since a March drug arrest and a subsequent rehab stint. Instead, he said he's focused on the future -- specifically a future in which Indianapolis hosts Super Bowl LII.

Irsay, who has been gradually worked back into the day-to-day operations of the Colts, will make a pitch at the NFL Spring Meeting on Tuesday for Indianapolis to be the host site for the Super Bowl in 2018. The city's primary competition will be New Orleans and Minneapolis.

"We're the best city, and we have the numbers to back that up," Irsay said, according to the Indianapolis Star.

"My father will be standing up giving the five-minute presentation,'' Irsay's daughter Carlie Irsay-Gordon told USA Today Sports on Monday. "At the end of the day, it's what the ownership decides. It's tough to say who will succeed. But we really hope we do. There are pros and cons for everyone.''

Irsay refused to answer questions about his arrest on Monday, citing a desire to move past his troubles.

"It's not avoiding an elephant in the room," he said. "It's moving forward."

Irsay said he felt "decent" from a physical standpoint but mentioned he has "a little ways to go" in rehab, though he was careful to point out it was a "physical rehab" for a back condition, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports.

"I feel grateful to be back," he told Rapoport.

The NFL has yet to announce how it plans to discipline Irsay for his arrest, a decision that will be scrutinized by players hoping the league won't play favorites with owners.

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