Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has been open about his addiction struggles in the past, but he opened the door even further when he discussed a drug overdose that almost killed him.
During an interview with HBO’s “Real Sports,” Irsay told Andrew Kremer in an interview clip that he has been to rehab “at least 15 times.” But it was a near-death situation that gave him a revelation.
“One time,” I was trying to detox myself, and I mixed multiple drugs that I didn’t know anything about. So all of a sudden, I start slurring my words. And then code blue, I stop breathing. And they revive me and the doctor goes, ‘Jim, you’re one lucky man because I had virtually signed the death certificate.’”
Irsay previously told The Associated Press that he knows “what it’s like to be at hell’s gates,” while discussing his addiction troubles. However, this “Real Sports” interview is the first time he has recalled a near-death experience.
Irsay’s struggles with addiction were on full display during his time as owner of the Colts. In 2014, he checked himself into rehab after being arrested and charged with driving under the influence as well as four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance.
Police revealed that Irsay had various prescription drugs in his possession during the arrest as well as more than $29,000 in cash when he was pulled over.
Irsay had his license suspended for a year after refusing a blood test, and though prosecutors dismissed the felony charges, Irsay pleaded guilty to his DUI.
The 64-year-old has been an executive of the Colts since 1984 when his father, Robert, was owner. In 1997, Irsay became majority owner of the team following his father’s death.