August 24th, 2019
I wasn’t in the stadium when it happened, but apparently tens of thousands of Colts fans were as the Bears were taking on the Colts in the third of four preseason games this Saturday evening.
I was sitting in my studio on Jay Street when the news broke. I was in meditation, centering my spirit and preparing for the two week push to get Issue No. 7 – Autumn 2019 ready for print by the September 14th launch. When I closed my eyes and began counting my breathing at nine in the evening, Andrew Luck was an NFL quarterback for my team, my hometown team, the Indianapolis Colts. When I opened my eyes and fell back into the present moment forty-five minutes later, the world knew, Andrew Luck had retired; he was going, and would be gone. Not gone from the world, but gone from the field on Sundays, though still very present in the hearts of Colts fans.
There was something about Andrew Luck. He always inspired me. He’s a gentleman, a class act, and a genius who carried that same class onto the field. If you search for “Andrew Luck Sack Compliments” you’ll see clips of Luck being pummeled and driven to the ground by two-hundred and fifty plus pound men. After the dust clears, Luck usually gets up and says something like, Great hit! Good hit buddy, or Good hit big man! And sometimes he smacks the defensive lineman or linebacker on the butt for good measure.
He played the quarterback position with a speed and strength and accuracy and vision that was remnant of his predecessor, the Colts god, Peyton Manning, but Luck was a far better athlete than Manning. This created a combination that for the last seven years has had Colts fans, including myself, salivating: what happens when this kid puts it all together, and also, when this franchise puts a quality team around him? How many Super Bowls will we win?
But that’s the thing. When the Colts drafted Luck in 2012, he was a kid, fresh out of Stanford, and maybe without a bald spot, and grinning ear-to-ear. And as he retires at 29, he’s a man. A man who carried the hopes of Indiana football fans for seven years; a man who spent a year and a half recovering from and rehabbing a possibly career-ending injury to his throwing shoulder in 2017; a man who suffered a lacerated kidney; a significant calf injury (or is it an ankle?); a concussion; and a host of other unknown physical and mental injuries throughout his time in the NFL.
And now, a man who decided that there’s more to his life and more to life than the National Football League. Dearly I’ll miss watching his quarterbacking skills; his goofy smile and child-like nature ––– he had fun playing the game. And at least at this point, I’ll continue watching the Colts on most Sundays and wrestling with whether it’s morally right for me to watch men choose to play such a brutal game each week, all the while hoping for the best for Luck’s replacement, and the heir apparent for the Indianapolis Colts franchise, Jacoby Brisset.
Thank you for the memories, and all the best of luck to you, Andrew. Though I did see you riding your bicycle around downtown Indianapolis on Mass Ave last summer, I hardly knew ye.
- Isaac Myers III