I did a mini pub crawl in my neighborhood of SunnyWood, Queens on Saturday. (SunnyWood is how I combine the neighborhoods of Sunnyside and Woodside.) It started at 2 PM and involved three blonde ladies, many Irish gents and a few too many Montauk Summer Ales. By 8 o’clock I was face down in a drool-soaked pillow, dreaming I was at a dinner party with the original Broadway cast of Jesus Christ Superstar.
I woke up hazily in the middle of the night to a phone with 13 texts. That’s too many. “Somebody died,” I thought. The texts read like an old school news wire.
Whoa!! On the bottom line. Luck is retiring!
(And so on.)
Nobody will ever confuse me with someone who loves the NFL Draft and all the bullshit that now accompanies it. Millions upon millions of dollars piled into a weekend of guessing. But Andrew Luck looked to me, coming out of Stanford, to be the surest thing in my lifetime. He was big. He was tough. He was smart. He had a brilliant arm. He came from a solid football lineage. There simply wasn’t a flaw in the game or character. When he ended up in Indianapolis, I penciled them into the postseason yearly for the next decade plus.
Then he started getting hit.
From day one.
Luck was sacked 41 times in his rookie season behind a terrible offensive line that intellectually over-matched GM Ryan Grigson refused to fix. After that 41-sack campaign, the Colts went with a front five the following season as bad as any in the league. Why? Because they knew Luck would still get them to 10+ wins. And he did.