Andrew Luck is, indeed, lucky

Article Image

Indianapolis Colts quarterback, 29-year-old Andrew Luck, who was the first pick in the 2012 NFL draft and a four-time Pro Bowl selection, announced he is retiring. CNN's Coy Wire reports.

Posted: Aug 26, 2019 4:00 PM
Updated: Aug 26, 2019 4:00 PM

The greatest things in the world can often disguise themselves as the worst things in the world. Which is why, as Colts Quarterback Andrew Luck walked off the field at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday night, he was presented with a gift cloaked as a turd.

Moments earlier, Luck -- dressed in a gray T-shirt and shorts and out with a lingering left calf and ankle injury -- was watching from the sidelines during the Bears-Colts pre-season clash when ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the 29-year-old would be retiring. The news was shocking. No, earth shaking.

This was a quarterback who threw for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns last season; a quarterback whose team was deemed a legitimate Super Bowl contender. The last such megastar to leave the league this early was Detroit Lions halfback Barry Sanders, who walked away at 31 in 1999. But the Lions were perpetual laughingstocks, and most assumed he was simply tired of nonstop losing.

Luck, on the other hand, spent his first seven years battling all sorts of injuries, missing a full one and a half seasons while facing crippling ailment after crippling ailment. Finally, enough was enough. The joy was gone. The pain overtook the pleasure.

Enter: The gift.

Knowing that their hero was exiting the arena for the final time, Colts fans booed. And booed. And booed. Not all of them, obviously -- but many. It was an ugly, vicious sound, generally reserved for led-off-in-cuffs Wall Street execs and political conmen ousted from office. Luck heard it all; later, he admitted the reaction left an Indiana-sized bruise. "Yeah, it hurt," he said. "I'll be honest, it hurt."

What Luck probably didn't realize at the time, but will almost inevitably come to see, is that the boos were truth serum -- and one is far better off knowing such.

Put differently, NFL players are meat. They are meat to owners; they are meat to coaches; and they are meat to fans. When a quarterback plays well, everyone loves him. He's the darling of the city -- free drinks, autograph requests aplenty, Instagram praise and Twitter glory, five-figure appearance fees and the finest cut of prime rib at the finest table in the finest restaurant. You are a king and a God, and you're making millions of dollars to live the life.

Then, because your body is in constant pain and you want your remaining time on earth to be prosperous and you realize throwing a prolate spheroid through the air only carries so much bliss, you decide you are done. And they scorn you.

In my two and a half decades as a sports writer, I have come to know hundreds of retired NFL players. Many were stars at one point or another -- standout pass rushers, quick-cutting halfbacks. They, too, experienced the bliss of athletic high, and found themselves drunk off the addictive power of NFL success. There are, after all, few experiences that can match the rush of being cheered by 70,000 people in your home coliseum.

More often than not, however, you ultimately wind up a ghost -- left alone to be told by the NFL's health care providers that your chronic headaches can be solved with two Advils; that being unable to remember your daughter's birthday is merely a byproduct of aging. Your knees are shattered. Your resume (2011-2014: Defensive lineman, Arizona Cardinals) is thin. You left school a semester early to prepare for the draft and never went back to attain a degree. Your jersey -- once $150 inside the team store -- peddles for $2.67 on eBay. It's been that price for months.

You are forgotten, and as you limp through your old stadium's hallways for a reunion of the so-and-so division championship squad, you realize that nobody recognizes you. And, if they did recognize you, they'd likely boo.

Because, once upon a time, you dashed their hopes by dropping a pass or throwing an interception or -- heaven forbid -- retiring early to care for yourself.

Andrew Luck is, indeed, lucky.

He was gifted the truth.

Huntsville
Scattered Clouds
90° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 98°
Florence
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 97°
Fayetteville
Few Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 88°
Decatur
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 97°
Scottsboro
Clear
91° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 102°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6030162
Mobile4418137
Montgomery4339109
Tuscaloosa254448
Madison19078
Marshall186611
Shelby150924
Lee149437
Morgan12205
Baldwin111410
Walker105127
Elmore98919
Dallas9639
Franklin92216
Etowah88214
DeKalb8416
Chambers65727
Russell6570
Autauga65313
Butler64328
Tallapoosa61669
Unassigned58626
Limestone5741
Houston5526
Cullman5395
Lauderdale5376
Lowndes48022
St. Clair4692
Colbert4656
Pike4595
Escambia4528
Calhoun4365
Coffee4074
Covington39911
Jackson3742
Bullock37010
Barbour3672
Dale3621
Talladega3497
Hale33722
Marengo33011
Wilcox2968
Clarke2946
Winston2893
Chilton2872
Sumter28512
Blount2731
Pickens2556
Monroe2492
Marion24514
Randolph2449
Conecuh2277
Perry2091
Bibb2081
Macon2069
Choctaw20212
Greene1928
Henry1433
Crenshaw1273
Washington1277
Lawrence1170
Cherokee1127
Geneva920
Lamar811
Fayette781
Clay742
Coosa621
Cleburne411
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 57591

Reported Deaths: 710
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby12842214
Davidson12549138
Rutherford332638
Hamilton308837
Sumner180256
Williamson159115
Trousdale15055
Knox14719
Out of TN125610
Wilson109917
Putnam9897
Bradley8894
Robertson88213
Sevier8633
Unassigned8372
Lake6970
Tipton6746
Montgomery6587
Bledsoe6251
Bedford5959
Macon5466
Hamblen4224
Maury4203
Hardeman3814
Fayette3463
Madison3402
Loudon3081
Rhea2940
Blount2803
Dyer2743
McMinn25718
Cheatham2522
Dickson2430
Washington2120
Lawrence2026
Cumberland1964
Anderson1782
Sullivan1782
Lauderdale1723
Gibson1581
Jefferson1571
Monroe1466
Smith1392
Coffee1340
Cocke1260
Greene1232
Hardin1207
Obion1182
Haywood1112
Warren1060
Franklin1043
Marshall1042
Wayne990
Hickman980
McNairy911
Marion904
Giles801
Lincoln800
White803
Hawkins792
Carter771
DeKalb760
Roane750
Weakley691
Overton681
Campbell651
Grundy652
Henderson620
Claiborne610
Unicoi560
Chester530
Carroll511
Polk510
Grainger500
Crockett483
Henry480
Cannon450
Johnson440
Sequatchie430
Jackson410
Humphreys382
Meigs350
Perry350
Morgan291
Decatur280
Stewart260
Fentress250
Scott220
Union200
Houston190
Clay180
Moore170
Benton151
Hancock100
Lewis100
Pickett70
Van Buren70

 

 

Community Events