Irsay acknowledged in 2002 that he had become dependent on painkillers after several years of orthopedic operations but said he had overcome the problem after undergoing treatment.
The DEA investigated the case, but local prosecutors at the time said they saw no reason to charge Irsay. In October 2013, Irsay tweeted that "I don't drink ... haven't in over 15 years."
Irsay became the Colts owner in 1997 after the death of his father, Robert Irsay, and a lengthy legal battle with his father's second wife. Forbes magazine has estimated Irsay's net worth at $1.6 billion.
He helped build the Colts into a top NFL team over the past decade behind quarterback Peyton Manning, now with Denver, and was a key player in the drive to bring the Super Bowl to Indianapolis two years ago. He is working with some success to rebuild the team behind young quarterback Andrew Luck while coping with a painful divorce that follows a decade-long separation from his wife of 33 years.
Irsay has cultivated a relaxed image that fans have responded to. Irsay has said the public wants owners who are "down to earth" and he's done his best to keep his fans up to date on his team — and lots of other things.
"Don't ever mix NiQuil and Ambien...it'll give U gas and u might end up on Capitol Hill," he once tweeted.
Irsay has written his own poetry, songs and short stories and plays the guitar.
He is an eclectic collector of everything from letters from Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson to electric guitars that once belonged to famous musicians, including one said to be the last guitar played by Jerry Garcia before he died in 1995. He made headlines by buying the handwritten scroll manuscript of Jack Kerouac's beat poem "On the Road" for $2.43 million and sending it on a nationwide tour.
Follow Charles D. Wilson on Twitter: https://twitter.com/_cdwilson