SBD/Issue 161/Sports Industrialists

Colts' Chris Polian Waits In Line As Future Leader Of Franchise

Polian Has Worked Last 12 Years In Football
Operations Leadership Positions With Colts

Colts VP/Football Operations & GM CHRIS POLIAN "has served the past 12 years in football operations leadership positions with the Colts, yet is largely unknown outside the NFL," according to a front-page piece by Phil Richards of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. The son of Colts President BILL POLIAN, Chris has "toiled diligently, energetically and anonymously," and has been courted by several teams in recent years. However, Colts Owner JIM IRSAY last November promoted Polian, "extended his and his father's contracts 'through the 2012 season and beyond,' and shut the door." Irsay also announced that when Bill Polian retires, Chris "will succeed his father." Chris promises "more of the same: the same core values, same philosophies, same systems." While Bill has devoted "more time to Irsay's projects and league matters," Chris has assumed "more day-to-day operational control." Some observers have said that Chris "shares his father's aptitude and passion." Pro Football HOFer MARV LEVY "recommended Polian as his successor" when he stepped down as Bills GM after the '07 season, and he said, "They're different personalities. Bill is more volatile. Chris is a more even-keel type of guy." Richards noted as Chris "acquired knowledge and experience, he developed convictions and a willingness to forcefully advocate for them." Bill Polian: "People probably think it's not this way, but he speaks very frankly to me, perhaps more so than anybody in the organization. He doesn't pull any punches."

GETTING OUT OF THE OFFICE: Richards notes Chris Polian "runs when he can find time, to stretch his legs and clear his mind." But he is "not a golfer, bowler or softball player," and when he is "not working, and the hours are exhaustive, he's usually home." He also is a "Chicago Cubs zealot," and "box seats 104 and 105 from the first-base line at Wrigley Field occupy floor space near his desk." Polian: "The seats were a Christmas present from my mom more than 10 years ago. When I got married, my wife told me those are leaving my living room and going to your office" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 5/2).

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