It’s been a couple days since our last Tony Kornheiser post – he demands more attention. Well, he’s got it.
Colts owner Jim Irsay diminished the craft and nuance of writing when he tweeted recently that he and Jeff Saturday “could get this thing done on cocktail napkins, over a long lunch at Rick’s Boatyard.” ‘This thing,’ of course, is the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement.
Tony Kornheiser thought that to be a preposterous proposition coming from a man in ‘the son business’ — cocktail napkins are way too damn small:
“What inflames this is a complete bozo, like Jimmy Irsay,” Kornheiser said. “Jimmy Irsay, who inherited his team. Worked very hard in the American way. He was in what Dan Jenkins used to call ‘The son business.’ He inherits a team, and now he says, ‘Jeff Saturday and I could hang out, we could go clubbing, we could work this out on a napkin at Ralph’s Boathouse.’”
“Jimmy Irsay, the rest of the owners wouldn’t trust Jimmy Irsay to call a cab for them,” Kornheiser continued. “Just so we understand that. They would not. Now, when the Krafts of the world, Kraft says, ‘This is hurting us with fans,’ he’s a reasonable guy. They would trust Kraft. There’s four or five owners that the other owners would trust to get involved in this.”
Irsay, who probably prefers to be called J.I., responded on Twitter:
“T.Kornheiser is a mean-spirited chump! When he can win 115 games n a decade,build a top 3 stadium,win n host a Super Bowl,then he can chirp! I think he used 2 b Bill Tobin’s mailman…but that would b an insult 2 mail men! I just droppin’ knowledge…”
Attempting as best I can to block out TK bias and Irsay’s reply, I’m siding with Irsay. Irsay and Saturday probably could get ‘this thing’ hammered out on a cocktail napkin; it just wouldn’t be very good. And how can Korny be calling anyone Bozo?
Okay, okay, seriously: Irsay appears to simply want the two sides to “just get something done!!” so football can kickoff on time. Obviously, the CBA is complex (I learned that in a law school class!) and it’s not going to get done on any napkins, but I think Irsay’s sentiment is in line with the majority opinion: let’s just get this thing done. Sure, it’d be unreasonable to expect a quick resolution over some drinks at a fine Indianapolis eatery, but to want to put the labor problems behind us is a very real feeling, a feeling one — be it an owner, a player, or a fan — might spontaneously and reasonably decide to express in 140 characters on Twitter. Yes, taken literally, it oversimplifies the dispute, but I don’t think the mindset “inflames” anyone (but Kornheiser, who clearly has preconceived notions of Irsay). Oh boy, an NFL owner wants to get the CBA signed so bad he’d do it under the influence at lunch with an offensive lineman!? BONKERS! In reality, hearing an NFL owner say he just wants to get something done actually makes this particular NFL fan feel (a little) better about the whole situation. Kornheiser just likes to pretend he’s being heroic by defending the owners (by bashing another owner) because they’re receiving the brunt of the media lash and saw this as an opportunity to put his name back in some headlines. I doubt he’d have the same reaction if Dan Snyder said he and Casey Rabach could get the CBA signed at a local McDonald’s while being pitched the new sausage egg mcgriddle value meal by Donovan McNabb. I’m lovin’ it.