Hunter S. Thompson was a unique brand of creative. If you’ve ever read the work of the famous inventor of Gonzo journalism, you’re well aware of his ability to make you believe he’s both crazy and highly intelligent, all in the same sentence.
He was also a huge football fan, an interest that didn’t include being a Jim Irsay fan for at least a few brief minutes while he wrote the Colts owner a scathing letter.
Yesterday the Colts website passed along a letter Thompson sent to Irsay in 1997. Irsay’s conduct and the general disarray of the Colts that led to the team being in a position to draft Peyton Manning in 1998 had evidently pushed Thompson far past his tipping point.
No one throws a written punch quite like the man who showed us what fear and loathing is like in Vegas.
To Jim Irsay
The Colts suck because you diss the whole concept of “Team” – or even “Gang”.
The Colts act like a gaggle of third-world transients in a holding pen with just enough whiskey and weirdness and talent to be competitive – but soon they will start getting busted – small things at first, but soon bigger & faster & uglier. And your shame will be as the shame of many; yr days will be spastic episodes full of great crooked cops & wrongful dishonor…that is what I see in the future – which is yesterday for you poor bastards because you’re too dumb to even Fake a “team” concept or even to say the word “we” in public. That’s why you can’t have any fun with the Colts & you won’t have any fun with the Browns or the Whores or The Globtrotters.
Be careful, James – yr greed crazed outbursts are beginning to rub off on people.
We’re sure that Irsay responded at the time by quoting some obscure, long-forgotten song from the 1960′s. On his always candid Twitter account Irsay cast aside the anger spewed in his direction, saying that it’s a personal badge of honor to be targeted with so much venom by a gonzo journalist of Thompson’s caliber.
Irsay was actually quite close with Thompson prior to the author’s suicide at the age of 67 in 2005. He documented their relationship and Thompson’s love of football in an ESPN article following his friend’s passing.
He’s brought so much joy to so many people. I always kind of thought that humor is the bridge to sanity in a world that can be quite insane. And I think he had that perceptive eye, that if you look at the world through the spiritual eye, you could see the madness of it all. He always captured that. And most importantly, I think he had that ability to be able to take that madness, brutality and suffering in our existence and turn it into insane dark stories that were quite funny. It was always the humor. He always had that knack.
With Irsay’s inability to be anything but candid, and Thompson’s rare view of the world, being the proverbial fly on the wall when those two were in deep conversation would have been quite the experience. After all, we’re talking about a man whose death note was titled “Football season is over.”
Hat tip to Shutdown Corner.