We all remember where we were when we heard that Andrew Luck was retiring from the Indianapolis Colts and professional football. I was sitting in my apartment, on my couch feet propped up, drink in one hand, phone in the other talking with the other Stampede Blue writers in our writers chat. I put my daughter to bed earlier that evening and I was planning on enjoying the end of a bad preseason football game and going to bed. And then it happened.
I went through several stages of grieving (I wish I were joking) before landing on bargaining (I told myself it was temporary) and “writing” an article that got more attention than any article I had written before and more than I’m likely to ever get again.
We can all tell our stories of how and when we found out. Some booed, some cried, but all of us were willing to tell our side of the Andrew Luck retirement. All of us except for Andrew Luck.
Luck’s retirement came as a shock and his disappearance into society was in some ways just as shocking. Word would get out every now and then that someone saw him in a grocery store or riding his bike or doing some other mundane, everyday thing that people tend to do. But Luck stepped out of the spotlight and went dark. Only recently has Andrew Luck started to make appearances in public, speaking to youth football players and appearing at a college football game. Still, years later Andrew Luck never talked about his retirement or gave a public explanation for why he stepped away from a game he was so good at before his 30th birthday.
As of today, we can stop speculating.
I visited Andrew Luck many times this year, as he broke his silence, searching for deeper reasons for his retirement, a decision that liberated and haunts him, and considers a return to football — but not how so many hope.https://t.co/DoF2vbvOqm pic.twitter.com/zU30NRLT5m— Seth Wickersham (@SethWickersham) December 6, 2022
In Seth Wickersham’s article for ESPN, Luck breaks his silence on his retirement. What went into the decision, everything from being the leader of a post-Peyton Manning football team to his injuries to his struggles to connect with those closest to him off the field.
It also gives us a glimpse into what Luck has been doing since that fateful evening, what his hobbies, goals, passions and biggest regrets are. It takes a deep dive into who Andrew Luck is and I’m not sure that I’ve read a better article this year.
By the end of the article, I had changed my mind four different times about the “real” reason Luck retired before I realized there wasn’t a singular reason. It can’t be boiled down to any one thing, no single sentence or paragraph can encapsulate the decision and how he arrived at it. This is a story of tremendous ability juxtaposed with a painful human experience. In the end I still miss Andrew Luck the football player but I was happy for Andrew Luck the human being. He’s going to be great in his next football endeavor.
This one is behind a paywall, but with just a little poking around I’m sure you can find it already archived somewhere. Also feel free to discuss and share your thoughts in the comments below.