His eyes are clear, clearer than before. His posture, which saw him stooped over like an old man, is much improved. His complexion, once red and blotchy, has been replaced by a healthy looking tan. In his first extended interview since his DUI arrest in March, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay remained circumspect about what happened that night and what he's been through since then. But he addressed several topics on the record with The Star, which may or may not shed light on his current state of mind as he deals with the ongoing disease of addiction, not to mention the chronic pain he feels in his hip and lower back as a result of old injuries and surgeries. "These diseases, both alcoholism and addiction, much like bipolar or depression and different illnesses, are still not seen as real diseases," Irsay said during a two-hour interview in his office Monday. "People shy away from seeking help because it's viewed as being somewhat morally off the path, that they've lost their way. I really think the disease aspect gets lost when you're talking about alcoholism and addiction; it's not like you're battling leukemia or a heart problem; it is that. But even in 2014, there's still this stigma. "...That stigma gets carried forward and it's unfortunate because people die and families get affected and people don't seek treatment. It's an unusual disease in the sense that the person has to diagnose himself. He has to realize that there's this genetic disease you have to deal with through treatment. My grandfather and father both died of the disease, and you realize you've spent a lot of time on this path. Certainly, I have. But with the disease, surgery and pain management can be very tricky waters."
Jim Irsay opens up about alcoholism, addiction and more
Indianapolis Star | Jun 10