Colts Mascot Plunges Into U.S. Swim Trials Pool ... At Lucas Oil Stadium

OLYMPIC PLUNGE

The home of the Indianapolis Colts has transformed into a massive swimming facility ahead of next week's Olympic team trials ... but Caeleb Dressel or Katie Ledecky weren't the first to break in the new tank -- it was none other than the NFL team's mascot, Blue!!

The beloved horse documented the christening on social media ... showing him prancing around with enthusiasm before jumping right into the newly built pool on Wednesday.

It's an exciting time in Indy -- the place that usually hosts Anthony Richardson and Co. has been going through quite the makeover for the past month ... with the stadium turning into the world's biggest swimming arena to host the trials on June 15-23.

Colts Owner Jim Irsay Disputes Cops' 'Overdose' Report ... Says Leg Injury Caused Medical Emergency

Jim Irsay says his medical emergency back in December was NOT due to an overdose ... insisting this week a leg injury was actually the cause of the scare.

Cops, of course, have stated otherwise. Carmel Police Department officers said in an incident report they responded to the Indianapolis Colts owner's Carmel residence on Dec. 8 at around 4:30 AM after he had been struggling to breathe with a weak pulse. They said following an administration of a dose of Narcan -- a drug commonly used to revive people in opiate overdose situations -- "he responded slightly."

Irsay was ultimately strapped to a stretcher and taken to the hospital ... and cops ended up classifying the whole ordeal as a suspected "overdose" and "overdose/poisoning."

Braden Fiske Top NFL Draft Prospect ... Playing For Colts Would Be 'Surreal'

Dreams Coming To Fruition
TMZSports.com

If Roger Goodell reveals next month that the Colts have drafted Braden Fiske ... don't be surprised to see the Florida State superstar going crazy -- 'cause he tells TMZ Sports playing for his childhood favorite squad "would be pretty surreal!"

Although he's spent the past year down in Tallahassee soaking up the rays in the Sunshine State ... Fiske says he'd have no problem moving back to the cold if Indianapolis took him in the draft.

After all, he grew up in Michigan City, Indiana ... and idolized Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James, Marvin Harrison and the rest of the legendary 2000s Colts.

"I think it'd be really cool to go back and represent Indiana and just play in my home state," he told us. "That'd be super cool."

There's just one small issue with the hypothetical, however ... and it's that the entire league now no doubt wants the 24-year-old on their team after what he did at the combine last week.

The 6-foot-5, 297-pound defensive lineman ran an explosive 4.78 in the 40-yard dash. He also clocked a 4.37 shuttle time that beat a record Aaron Donald had set. He looked great in drills too.

It's all culminated in a bunch of teams showing interest in him ... with nearly every one telling him they'll be at his Pro Day later this month to watch him on the field again.

Whatever franchise he ultimately ends up on, Fiske said he's got some names he's looking to sack ... with the early list including Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow and Aaron Rodgers.

Shout out to Sieler!
TMZSports.com

Fiske -- who had 12 sacks in the last two seasons -- also revealed how he pulled off the insane 40-yard time at his size ... and how Dolphins defense tackle Zach Sieler influenced his defensive game.

Jim Irsay 'On The Mend' After Health Issues ... Thankful For Support

Jim Irsay says he's getting over his recent health issues ... revealing Tuesday he's officially "on the mend."

The Indianapolis Colts owner suffered multiple medical scares in the last few months -- including a suspected overdose at his Indiana home followed by a respiratory ailment -- but, thankfully, he said on his X page he's now doing better.

He told his fans he appreciated all of their support as he went through his recovery process ... writing, "Grateful for all the messages of love."

The Colts first announced 64-year-old Irsay was struggling with his health back on Jan. 9 ... when they said he was battling "a severe respiratory illness." The issue was so dire, it actually forced Irsay to back out of a concert with his band.

To make matters worse for the NFL owner, TMZ Sports learned that just weeks prior -- on Dec. 8 -- cops were called to his Carmel home after they said he had been found unconscious with a blue skin tone.

ARRIVING ON THE SCENE

In police documents, cops said first responders administered live-saving measures before taking him to the hospital ... classifying the incident as both an "overdose" and "overdose/poisoning."

TMZ INVESTIGATES
TMZ Studios

Fortunately, it seems Irsay's now on the road to putting it all behind him ... adding a heart emoji to his Tuesday message.

Colts Owner Jim Irsay Found Blue, Unresponsive in December ... OD Suspected, Cops Say

UPDATE

The Colts released a statement on Jim Irsay's health ... saying he is still recovering from his "respiratory illness."

"We will have no further comment on his personal health, and we continue to ask that Jim and his family's privacy be respected."

Jim Irsay was found laying in his bed unresponsive, cold to the touch and gasping for air during a suspected overdose in December ... this according to police in Indiana.

Carmel Police Department documents, obtained by TMZ Sports, show cops were dispatched to Irsay's Carmel residence on Dec. 8 at around 4:30 AM ... after someone said they had found the Indianapolis Colts owner unconscious on a bathroom floor with a blue skin tone.

When police first arrived on the scene, they say Irsay had been moved to his bed ... where he was struggling to breathe and had a weak pulse and constricted pupils.

Police say in the docs an attempt to wake him with a sternum rub was unsuccessful. They added, though, that after administering one dosage of Narcan -- a drug commonly used to revive people in opiate overdose situations -- "he responded slightly."

Cops say they were prepared to attach an AED to Irsay -- but paramedics arrived and "took over lifesaving efforts." Irsay was eventually transported to a nearby hospital via an ambulance.

Officers noted in the documents that a caretaker provided them a list of the medications Irsay had been taking ... though they wrote in the report, "At this time, it is unknown what Mr. Irsay had ingested prior to our arrival." They classified the incident in the docs as both "overdose" and "overdose/poisoning."

Irsay had not been seen around his Colts' team in the weeks following the incident ... and on Jan. 9, the team announced he'd been dealing with a "severe respiratory illness." The Colts explained in a statement that he would miss a scheduled appearance in Los Angeles with his "Jim Irsay Band" while receiving treatment for the ailment.

"He is receiving excellent care and looks forward to returning to the stage as soon as possible," the Colts said. "We'll have no additional information at this time and we ask that you respect the privacy of Jim and his family as he recovers."

We do not know if Irsay's recent hospitalization is related to the December incident at his home.

Irsay -- who's been the owner of the Colts since 1997 -- said in an interview with Andrea Kremer back in November, he's battled addiction to alcohol and pain pills during his life, requiring at least 15 trips to rehab. He also told Kremer he previously suffered an overdose after he "was trying to detox myself."

"All of a sudden I started slurring my words and then code blue, I stopped breathing," he told Kremer of the OD. "And they revived me, and the doctor goes, 'Jim, you're one lucky man because I had signed, virtually, the death certificate.'"

We've reached out to Irsay, but no word back yet.

Originally Published -- 12:30 AM PT

Colts Owner Jim Irsay Dealing W/ Severe Respiratory Illness ... Backs Out Of Band Gig

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has been placed on Injured Reserve with a gnarly illness ... forcing him to back out of an upcoming concert with his band.

The news just came out Tuesday morning ... with Adam Schefter releasing a statement from the Colts on 64-year-old Irsay's condition.

"Jim Irsay is currently being treated for a severe respiratory illness," the team said.

Irsay was slated to hit the stage alongside his "Jim Irsay Band" rock group as part of an exhibit and concert event in Los Angeles on Thursday ... which will feature items from his massive music and sports memorabilia collection.

The band -- which is slated to have special appearances from Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and more -- will seemingly hit the stage without Irsay, who served as main vocalist for previous gigs.

"While this unfortunately means he won't be able to perform with his band this week in Los Angeles, he is receiving excellent care and looks forward to returning to the stage as soon as possible," the team added.

"We’ll have no additional information at this time and we ask that you respect the privacy of Jim and his family as he recovers."

Shawne Merriman Philip Rivers Still Wants To Play ... 'That's Why He Hasn't Retired'

HEAD COACH MATERIAL
TMZSports.com

Philip Rivers is 42 years old and hasn't taken a hit in an NFL game since the 2020 season ... but according to Shawne Merriman, the dude STILL has aspirations of getting under center again.

The former Chargers superstar made the revelation in a chat with TMZ Sports earlier this month ... saying he knows for a fact that his good pal and former Bolts teammate wants another shot in the NFL.

"That's why he hasn't retired," Merriman said of the quarterback.

In fact, Shawne tells us he thinks Rivers could potentially play not just one more season ... but maybe even two.

"I can tell you," Merriman said, "Phil still wants to play."

Rivers last suited up for the Colts in 2020-21, piling up 4,169 passing yards and 24 touchdowns. He led Indy to an 11-5 record, though he ultimately failed to get a win in the playoffs -- losing to Buffalo in the Wild Card round.

Prior to his stint in Indianapolis, Rivers put together a Hall-of-Fame-worthy résumé with the Chargers ... and after he took a high school coaching gig in 2021, many believed he was satisfied with how his career had played out.

But, Merriman said that's just not the case.

"I still think Philip can play another year or two if a team gets down here in the playoffs and they need a quarterback to come off the street," Merriman said. "Phil can do it."

So far, there doesn't appear to be any teams quite in need of kicking Rivers' tires -- though there are still three more weeks left 'til the playoffs begin.

Shawne Merriman dice que Philip Rivers aún quiere jugar "por eso no se ha retirado"

sería un buen coach
TMZSports.com

Philip Rivers tiene 42 años y no ha hecho nada espectacular en un juego de la NFL desde la temporada 2020, pero de acuerdo con Shawne Merriman, el tipo TODAVÍA tiene aspiraciones de estar en el centro de atención.

La ex superestrella de los Chargers hizo la revelación en una charla con TMZ Sports a principios de este mes, diciendo que sabe a ciencia cierta que su buen amigo y ex compañero de equipo de los Bolts quiere otra oportunidad en la NFL.

"Es por eso que no se ha retirado", dijo Merriman del mariscal de campo.

De hecho, Shawne nos dice que él piensa que Rivers potencialmente podría jugar no solo una temporada más, sino que tal vez incluso dos.

"Puedo decirte", dijo Merriman, "Phil todavía quiere jugar".

Rivers se vistió por última vez para los Colts en 2020-21, acumulando 4.169 yardas de pase y 24 touchdowns. Llevó a Indy a un récord de 11-5, aunque finalmente no pudo obtener una victoria en los playoffs, perdiendo ante Buffalo en la ronda de Wild Card.

Antes de su paso por Indianápolis, Rivers reunió un currículum digno del Salón de la Fama con los Chargers7 y después de que participó en un juego de entrenamiento de la escuela secundaria en 2021, muchos creían que estaba satisfecho con la forma en que su carrera había jugado.

Sin embargo, Merriman dijo que no es el caso.

"Todavía creo que Philip puede jugar uno o dos años más si un equipo llega aquí abajo en los playoffs y necesitan un mariscal de campo que salga de la calle", dijo Merriman. "Phil puede hacerlo".

Hasta ahora, no parece haber ningún equipo que necesite a Rivers, aunque todavía quedan tres semanas hasta que comiencen los playoffs.

Jim Irsay On 2014 Arrest ... Cops Targeted Me 'Because I'm A Rich, White Billionaire'

Jim Irsay says he was targeted by police during his 2014 arrest ... emphatically believing cops were prejudiced against him because he's "a rich, white billionaire."

The Indianapolis Colts owner made the eyebrow-raising statements to Andrea Kremer during an interview with HBO Sports that aired earlier this week.

In their chat, Kremer asked Irsay if his DUI arrest in Carmel, Ind. some nine years ago was a "low point" for him ... and a few seconds later, he sounded off.

"I am prejudiced against because I'm a rich, white billionaire," Irsay told her. "If I'm just the average guy down the block, they're not pulling me in, of course not."

Carmel police had said at the time of the arrest they stopped Irsay for, among other things, driving too slowly as well as failing to use his turn signal. They eventually put him in cuffs after they claimed he failed their sobriety tests.

MARCH 2014
THE 2014 DUI

Dashcam footage from the scene appeared to show Irsay having trouble walking while talking with cops outside of his car. Cops say toxicology results, meanwhile, showed he had multiple painkillers in his system, including oxycodone and hydrocodone.

Irsay, however, still told Kremer, "The arrest was wrong."

"I had just had hip surgery, and had been in the car for 45 minutes," he said. "And what -- they asked me to walk the line? Are you kidding me? I can barely walk at all."

Irsay eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated ... and was sentenced to 1 year probation. He told Kremer he only cut the deal with prosecutors because he wanted to get the case "over with."

For the Carmel Police Department's part, it said in a statement to The Indianapolis Star on Tuesday regarding Irsay's allegations, "We are very sorry to hear that comment about our officers and our department."

"We have a very professional agency consisting of officers that strive to protect our community with integrity and professionalism."

Shaquille Leonard Passes Out Turkeys In Indianapolis ... After 'Shocking' Colts Cut

FOLLOWING THROUGH
TMZSports.com

Shaquille Leonard didn't let his release from the Colts impact his charity work in Indianapolis on Tuesday ... as the star linebacker still found a way to pass out turkeys to those in need despite the rough afternoon.

Just hours after his tenure in Indy came to an abrupt end ... Leonard made time to partner up with Gleaners Food Bank and Chapel Rock Church to help families with their upcoming Thanksgiving meals.

Leonard was seen handing out turkeys as well as side dishes ... and TMZ Sports is told he impacted roughly 200 families with his charitable work.

Of course, no one would have blamed Leonard one bit if he had backed out of the event ... as he openly admitted he was "shocked" when the Colts fired him earlier in the day.

Despite battling a myriad of injuries during his six years in Indianapolis, Leonard had established himself as one of the best Colts players of the past decade -- earning three All-Pro selections. Yet still, he was cut unceremoniously while prepping for a midseason game.

Leonard, however, was still somehow in great spirits at the event ... taking photos with fans and signing autographs.

He told ESPN's Stephen Holder on the scene that he believed complaining about his diminished role in Indianapolis' defense this season played a part in his cut -- although he did add "there's no hard feelings" between him and the org. at this point.

Leonard could join a new team soon -- but for now, he's lending a hand to those who could use it ... and he deserves big props for it.

MATT ULRICH EX JUGADOR DE LA NFL FALLECE A LOS 41 AÑOS

El ex jugador de la NFL Matt Ulrich —ganador del Super Bowl con los Indianapolis Colts en 2006— ha muerto, anunció Jim Irsay el miércoles. Tenía 41 años.

Los detalles que rodean su muerte no han sido revelados por el momento.

Irsay compartió sus condolencias en X hace unos minuto, diciendo que a pesar de que el guardia ofensivo estuvo con el equipo por un corto tiempo, su presencia se sintió en toda la organización.

"Estoy desconsolado al enterarme del fallecimiento de Matt Ulrich", dijo Irsay en un sentido post. "Matt estuvo con nosotros solo dos temporadas, pero dejó su huella en muchos".

"Fue un gran tipo y he oído que era un gran padre... fue campeón del Super Bowl.  Mis oraciones para su familia. 🙏"

Ulrich fue un atleta estrella en Streamwood High School en Illinois. Recibió altos honores en fútbol y lanzamiento de peso antes de asistir a Northwestern.

Ulrich se unió a Indy en 2005, apareciendo en diez juegos en su carrera, ganándolo todo junto a Peyton Manning en el Super Bowl XLI.

Cuando se jubiló, fundó una empresa de fitness y también se aventuró al mundo de los negocios.

RIP

Matt Ulrich Ex-NFL Offensive Lineman Dead At 41 ... $30k Raised For Family

Former NFL player Matt Ulrich -- who won a Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts in 2006 -- has died, Jim Irsay announced Wednesday. He was 41 years old.

Details surrounding his death have not been revealed at this time.

Irsay shared his condolences on X just minutes ago ... saying even though the offensive guard was with the team for a short time, his presence was felt throughout the organization.

"I am heartbroken to hear of the passing of Matt Ulrich," Irsay said in a heartfelt post. "Matt was with us only two seasons, but left his mark on many."

"Great guy, I hear he was a great dad---and he was a Super Bowl champ.  My prayers to his family. 🙏"

Ulrich was a star athlete at Streamwood High School in Illinois ... receiving high honors in football and shot put before attending Northwestern.

Ulrich -- who went undrafted -- joined Indy in 2005 ... appearing in 10 games in his career, winning it all alongside Peyton Manning and Co. at Super Bowl XLI.

He started a fitness company in retirement ... and also ventured into business.

A fundraiser was set up to support Ulrich's family following the athlete's sudden death ... with nearly $30,000 being raised over the past 18 hours.

Tom McMakin -- the CEO of Profitable Ideas Exchange, where Ulrich worked -- donated $20k for the cause. TMZ Sports spoke with McMakin ... and he said Ulrich had the biggest heart in Montana.

"Matt had love and energy for everyone he met," McMakin said ... adding Ulrich was heavily involved in the community by coaching his kids' football teams and providing speed and strength training for young athletes.

McMakin also praised Ulrich's brain and leadership -- assisting on multiple boards for causes throughout the area and raved about his success in the office.

"An NFL lineman is usually scary ... but Matt immediately put you at ease," McMakin said. "He was a gentle giant."

Tom also commended Ulrich for continuing to focus on his health following his playing days ... pointing out the athlete had lost 40 pounds in recent years and was in "peak condition."

As for why he decided to make the substantial donation, McMakin said, "He helped build our company and he was the heart and soul to the business. It's the least we could do."

RIP

Jim Irsay Dances To Meek Mill Hit W/ Team ... After Colts Win

NICE MOVES !!!

Jim Irsay channeled his inner Meek Mill after the Indianapolis Colts' win Sunday ... the billionaire busted out his best dance moves to one of the Philadelphia rapper's biggest hits -- and his players lost it!

The 64-year-old Colts CEO and owner was captured celebrating with his players and coaches in the Bank of America Stadium locker room after the Colts' 27-13 win over the Panthers in Charlotte.

Irsay -- who bought his team in 1997 -- rocked a Colts-themed suit, and did his best to dance to Meek's "Dreams and Nightmares" ... while holding head coach Shane Steichen's hand.

Irsay shared the awesome footage on X ... and captioned it, "Hold up, wait a minute, ya’ll thought we were finished. - Meek Mill (and also me)."

The squad loved it ... and so did Meek Mill, who caught the clip of Irsay vibing to his track, saying on X, "Can’t find a better song!"

The Colts fans also thought it was dope ... with one saying, "What the f*** did I just watch? But seriously I loved it."

It's obvious Irsay is proud of his players' performances in Sunday's game, including cornerback Kenny Moore II, whom he gave a shoutout for setting a franchise record with two pick-six interceptions in a single game.

The 4-5 Colts are currently third in the AFC South ... and will play the New England Patriots in Germany next weekend.

Dance off between Irsay and Robert Kraft?!

Peyton Manning Hilariously Punts A 'Coffin Corner' ... With Pat McAfee

PEYTON THE PUNTER
Omaha Productions / Peyton's Places

Peyton Manning and Pat McAfee are back together on the football field again ... and believe it or not, it's Pat who's training the Hall of Fame quarterback -- how to punt!

The former Indianapolis Colts teammates reunited at Lucas Oil Stadium this week for a Halloween episode of Peyton Places on ESPN+ (produced by Omaha Productions) ... where Peyton got a personal tutorial on how to perfect the "coffin corner."

If you're not hip to what a coffin corner is ... it's when the punter kicks the ball between the opponent's 5-yard line and the endzone, giving the offense terrible field position.

"Here Peyton, you try," McAfee said. "Nobody wants to see me punt the ball. They wanna see you do terrible with this."

Considering it's the Halloween episode, they actually placed a literal coffin on the field as a target ... and Peyton had a helluva time getting it down.

But after several tries, Manning finally had some success -- all while wearing a vest and slacks!

"You just hit it," McAfee yelled. "Let's go!!!"

Of course, getting trained by McAfee helps -- the guy's a 2-time Pro Bowl punter who booted more than 575 punts for over 26,000 yards.

The guys were teammates on the Colts from 2009 to 2011 ... right before Peyton signed with the Denver Broncos, where he won his 2nd Super Bowl.

Pat and Peyton are both TV guys now -- McAfee has his show on ESPN, and Manning has the famous "Monday Night Football" Manningcast with his brother, Eli (which airs on ESPN 2).

Now that Peyton can punt like Pat, too ... they're basically twins!!

Ex-NFLer Sergio Brown Dances, Parties At Tulum Club ... As Probe Into Mom's Death Continues

10/3/23
NOT A WORRY IN THE WORLD
TMZSports.com

Ex-NFL player Sergio Brown was spotted in Tulum on Sunday ... dancing and partying his face off -- this despite an ongoing police investigation into the death of his mother.

Brown -- wearing red Nike swim trunks -- didn't seem to have a care in the world as he swayed shirtless with patrons on the dance floor at a popular club in the Mexican city.

One witness tells TMZ Sports ... the former Indianapolis Colts defensive back was at the venue for several hours -- chatting it up with people and buying alcohol for others, before bolting.

The scene is eyebrow-raising, to say the least ... considering cops in Maywood, Ill. have been searching for Brown after his mom, 73-year-old Myrtle Brown, was found dead near a creek on Sept. 16. Both she and Sergio were reported missing just hours prior.

Officials later ruled Myrtle's death a homicide ... saying she sustained injuries in an assault. Cops have not released information regarding potential suspects.

10/3/23
SERGIO'S INSTAGRAM RANT

There had been speculation that the 35-year-old had left Illinois and traveled to Mexico ... after an Instagram account apparently belonging to the ex-football player posted a video of him in the country rambling about "fake news."

It's unclear where the investigation into Myrtle's death now stands ... we reached out to the Maywood Police Dept. multiple times on Monday but have yet to hear back.

Brown -- who played college football at Notre Dame -- logged snaps in the NFL from 2010 to 2016 ... earning time with the Patriots, Colts, Jaguars and Bills. He finished his career with 15 total starts and one interception.

Anthony Richardson Gifts Signed Cleat To Young Fan ... At Training Camp

One lucky Colts fan got a rare piece of memorabilia from Anthony Richardson this week ... 'cause the rookie quarterback gifted the kid a signed cleat right off his foot!!

The incredible gesture happened at Indy's training camp on Wednesday ... when the 4th overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft met with supporters at the Grand Park Sports Campus.

In clips from the scene, you can see the large crowd begging Richardson for his autograph ... but he took it a step further by taking off his white Nike cleat and signing it before handing it to a young girl ... and her reaction is priceless!!

The 21-year-old was able to hook up a couple of fans with his John Hancock before a team staffer drove him and his little brother -- who was wearing his helmet -- off the field.

By the looks of it, Richardson would still be there right now signing for fans if he didn't get whisked away!!

Richardson is definitely becoming a fan favorite ahead of the season ... besides being named QB1 this week, his old rap verse from a year-old music video has also gone viral, with fans saying he should drop a mixtape.

"I need this rap with him coming out the tunnel on GameDay," one fan tweeted.

Maybe there's more music on the way ... but for now, enjoy the souvenir, kiddo!!

Old news is old news!
Be First!

Get TMZ breaking news sent right to your browser!