Life is what happens when you are planning other things.
Writing a weekly sports column is like that definition of life in that real events override other plans. I had no idea that when I wrote my last column that Andrew Luck would announce his retirement from the NFL at the age of 29, citing the fact that repeated injuries had sapped his love of the game. The Indianapolis Colts, to their credit, let Luck keep his $24 million signing bonus.
Luck’s retirement at the seeming peak of his career is reminiscent of two other early retirements: Jim Brown’s at 29 from the original Cleveland Browns and Sandy Koufax’s retirement at 30 from the Los Angeles Dodgers. I’m still not sure what Brown’s reason for retiring was, but Koufax, like Luck, had injury problems.
The Colts have handled matters very well with his retirement, not panicking, but going forward with Jacoby Brissett as their starter. He is familiar to the team and has played with them before, albeit in a lost season after Luck suffered a shoulder injury. This is a different Colts team, one with a better defense and offensive line as well as quarterback-friendly head coach Frank Reich in charge. They do have a back-up problem, though, and have been auditioning reserve quarterbacks.
The problem with being in an information age is that Luck’s retirement was announced on Twitter during the Colts third preseason game, giving fans the opportunity to boo him, which was a classless gesture.
As far as the Hall of Fame goes, Luck isn’t the lead-pipe cinch that Rod Gronkowski is, due to the latter playing on winning Super Bowl teams, but I think he’s a Hall of Famer for what he accomplished on the field. It’s the same principle as those NBA greats who played during the peak of the Chicago Bulls dynasty teams (Karl Malone, John Stockton, Gary Payton, Charles Barkley and Clyde Drexler).
Going from that subject, WVU had to come from behind to beat James Madison University. People on Facebook were giving credit to the coaching staff for making adjustments, implicitly criticizing the previous staff. I’m sticking with the statement I made that WVU has little room for error this year.
I’ll be back next week.
Contact Jeff Harvey at firstname.lastname@example.org