Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said that dealing with his six-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy was challenging because he was not around his team.
Irsay’s suspension was lifted last Friday.
The league levied the punishment against Irsay after he pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated after he was stopped by police in March for erratic driving. Police found more than $29,000 in cash and bottles containing prescription drugs in the vehicle he as driving.
Irsay was subsequently sentenced to one year of probation and had his drivers license revoked for one year and 40 days. The NFL also fined him $500,000.
"It was really tough not being around," Irsay said to the Indianapolis Star. “Ever since I was a kid, I've been in the locker room. The kind of owner I am, it's very dear to me. So it was hard being away. But I was really glad with the way we performed."
The Colts won four of their first six games with Irsay not being around. He said he is taking things one day at a time and looks to move forward with his life, but admits that he missed the little things about owning a team, including being around team personnel.
“It's just something you dearly miss," he said. "We pray before the games together, holding hands. We pray after. That's a special moment. And being in the winning locker room is awesome. It's ecstatic. But as owner, I'm there in the losing locker room, too, because it's always about going forward. There's no pity parties."
The AFC South-leading Colts (4-2) take on the Cincinnati Bengals (3-1-1) on Sunday.
- Scooby Axson