(Photo Courtesy of Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA, all rights reserved)
Editor’s Note: (I found this in my drafts and wanted to finish it, thus the late publish)
In 2012, as a Patriots fan, I was getting ready to dislike Andrew Luck for a long time. He was Peyton’s replacement, being lauded as the next John Elway, a can’t miss franchise quarterback, a future champion, and future Hall of Famer.
This stupid Stanford guy was the future of the league. I saw him as the leader of the next generation of quarterbacks. He was going to take the torch from Manning, and eventually Brady, as the best quarterback in the NFL and it was just a foregone conclusion he would be a champion.
I knew he had a bright future, so I started to find reasons to dislike him. Went to Stanford, pff, probably a smug elitist. He sounds and looks like a caveman that was thawed out of ice…who would have thought Cro-Magnons were so bright?
In the first 3 years of his career, he made the Pro Bowl and everything looked it was going according to plan. He would soon have his Super Bowl and America would have its next Peyton Manning.
But that never happened. Plagued by injury and an inconsistent supporting cast (and some would say not the best owner/general manager) he struggled to stay on the field and missed much of the 2015, 2016, and all the 2017 season.
But after his 2018 comeback season, I thought his rise to the top was not only back on, but inevitable. The earlier struggles were just the B-roll for his future 30 for 30 story to show the adversity he went through before winning the championship. I could still see Roger Goodell handing him the Lombardi trophy and hearing his annoying deep voice give a speech thanking everyone, “Duh yeah, thank you to everyone, it’s been a lot of hard work ever since they thawed me out from ice to play football. Although us caveman are athletic, getting used to the 21st century was rough, and yes I went to Stanford.”
When I heard the Colts had spent draft picks on the O-line and were adding more weapons, I was convinced 2019 would finally be his year to ascend to the upper echelon of the NFL. My bff Tom was winding down and this guy was going to finally take his place.
That’s why I was shocked when I heard about his retirement and saw this:
Once I got over the shock, I was saddened by the news. It sucked how it went down (reminded me of the Montreal Screwjob with Brett Hart) and it sucks that such a promising career was cut so short due to injury.
I can understand where he is coming from, my last concussion from boxing lasted over a month with constant headaches and the need to avoid bright lights (still did my fight after getting through it though, #btreetough). Also, I’m not getting hit by NFL Players, I’m sure he was dealing with much worse. Sometimes your body betrays you and you can’t just suck it up and play through the pain. Especially with what we know now with CTE and the lasting effects of injuries.
Even as someone who rooted against him, I did not want this to happen. I wanted the Patriots to beat him on the field, not him be beaten by injury. As much crap as I said about him, I still saw him as a worthy adversary, not a bad guy, and maybe would be okay with him eventually winning a trophy in one of our off years.
Almost that whole generation of next QB’s: RG3, Luck, and Cam Newton to some extent, didn’t take the torch like we predicted. I just hope the next guys up can learn from their situations and have long fruitful less-injured careers.
From a Patriot’s fan, Luck, I’m sorry you had to go out like that and I wish you luck (no pun intended) in whatever you choose to do next.