INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Colts owner and COO Jim Irsay is pulling out all of the stops for a two-night Pro Football Hall of Fame celebration next month in Canton, Ohio, for Peyton Manning and Edgerrin James.
The two Colts icons will be enshrined on Aug. 7 and 8, beginning with James on Saturday evening.
On Thursday, Irsay opened up on this incredible feat for the franchise and his honor of presenting James’ ahead of his induction speech.
“It’s the greatest privilege I think that I could have with the stewardship that I have,” Irsay said, “It’s just an indicator to me that forging that close relationship and really knowing what great friends we are, how we have each other’s backs and how close we really, really are. I mean these guys mean a tremendous amount to me. They lay a lot on the field – their preparation. It’s a tough game. They are heroic in what they do and I, like all fans, really look up to all the aspects that these great athletes go through.”
As the planning for the afterparties continues, Irsay delivered a preview of the scene once the speeches are done.
“There’s never really any limitations I don’t think, except how many people can physically fit inside the circus tent that the party is in,” Irsay said. “It’s just a great time and a great party. It’s just really special to see the family and extended family and friends of these people we all love as Colts fans. To see them all there and to see this magical night and to see their grandmother or to see their grandfather, their coach from grade school, to meet their best friend that has been there for them since first grade, it’s that type of setting. It’s really magical. In life you have those moments and those are the ones you wish that could go on forever.”
As for the wish list from Manning and James regarding the parties? Irsay isn’t about to be outdone in any department.
“There are no limits, they ask me for this DJ or that DJ and I said fine. I just want to see everyone have a great time. I haven’t shut anything down yet. No one has asked me to have the Rolling Stones or U2 play at their party yet, but that could be a negotiation (laughing).”
For Manning and James… forget the bill for this bash.