When Andrew Luck entered the NFL in 2012, he had the unenviable privilege of following up a living legend in Indianapolis. Luck was the first quarterback to suit up for the Colts since the franchise had parted ways with its greatest player in Peyton Manning, someone who brought relevance, a Trophy, and a new stadium to Indy and for whom a statue is being built currently.
Luck was able to handle it well, as he understood the history but also understood that he couldn’t simply be Manning, he had to be Andrew Luck. Interestingly, however, Luck’s family history goes way back with Manning’s family history, as Oliver Luck was the backup to Archie Manning during their days in the NFL. Andrew Luck attended the Manning Passing Academy as a kid, and his favorite player growing up was Peyton Manning.
“Peyton is arguably the greatest quarterback ever, for the horseshoe, for Denver, for whoever. It’s Peyton Manning,” Luck said after the game on Sunday, when the Colts brought back Manning and many others to honor the Super Bowl team. “Grew up, he was my favorite player, he was my sister’s favorite player, our favorite players. It’s certainly nice to see him.”
In some ways, it feels almost as if Luck and Manning were finally on the same team for once, as both had their Colts jerseys on for Sunday’s game. “Yeah, sure,” Luck agreed. “You see him wearing a horse shoe jersey, absolutely. This goes back to when I was in middle school at the Manning passing academy camp. That family and him have been nothing but kind and generous to me, the whole family. I’ll always appreciate that.”
Manning was back in town on Sunday for the Colts game, and he got a chance to catch up with Luck before the contest.
“Yeah, I had a chance to talk to him before the game and I admire him very much,” Luck said. “I remember being a kid and my dad would always talk about being Archie’s backup in Houston and driving Cooper and Peyton around and buy hamburgers or something or whatever the backup quarterbacks did in the 80’s. I remember I got to go to their camp as a kid and I’ve always admired Peyton and the whole family very much. Even more so living in Indianapolis, professionally around the city so I had a chance to catch up. And what a neat deal for the fans and for all those players. As a current player, it’s hard to sort of sit back and appreciate what they did but when you see a Lombardi trophy on the field with the team around it, that’s neat and that’s what we aspire to be.”