INDIANAPOLIS – Jim Irsay was your typical fan---pacing, rarely comfortable in one spot, but most importantly he was proud.
The Colts Owner wasn't used to watching his team on television, but he watched proudly as they bounced back from a pair of primetime, one-possession losses to carry a four-game winning streak into this weekend's contest against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Come Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium, Irsay will be back in his element getting a first hand look at a product he believes is truly special.
"It was really tough not being around because ever since I was a kid I was in the locker room, around. In terms of just the type of owner that I am, it's very dear to me," Irsay said on Wednesday afternoon.
"It was hard being away, but I was really glad the way we performed, and that was the biggest key in my mind that kept me happy; to be 4-2 and to be in first place."
After serving a six-game suspension, Irsay came back to work on Friday afternoon to a joyous building fresh off the Colts 33-28 victory over the Houston Texans.
Irsay has grown up in the game of football, from an elementary kid working in the equipment room to now owning one of the most successful franchises in league history.
Those moments just minutes before and after kickoff is something Irsay has longed for over the past month and a half.
"It's just something you dearly miss because you know we pray before the game together holding hands. We pray after, that's a special moment. Being in the winning locker room is awesome, it's ecstatic. But as owner, I think I'm really there in the losing locker room too because it's always about going forward and there's no pity parties. For instance, missing Denver's locker room, you want to win that opening game and it was a tough loss, so that part was hard missing," Irsay says.
Back inside the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, Irsay has been a busy man discussing past games with Chuck Pagano and looking ahead to the trading deadline with Ryan Grigson.
As Irsay sat in his office on Wednesday afternoon, he was flanked by memorabilia of past Colts teams.
The Colts Owner said repeatedly on Wednesday that this 2014 squad has the potential to reach those heights and he couldn't be happier to be back and watch it all unfold.
"I've always said I've felt the role of a steward here," Irsay said. "(Former Kansas City Chiefs Owner) Lamar Hunt used to talk about stewardship versus ownership, and I take that seriously. You learn from your mistakes, you move forward and I think you can be a better person, and better at everything in life and what you do.
"I couldn't be more excited about the season, and again when you're away from something like that you grow to appreciate it more when you're back."