Cam Newton. Andrew Luck.
It’s a shame they only met once.
Saturday night, multiple reports across the wire confirmed the Colts all-pro signal caller—the first overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft—intends to retire from football prior to the 2019 season.
It’s a stunning development, not just for your humble analyst here, but for NFL fans around the world.
Selfishly, we were looking forward to seeing Luck battle Newton again on December 22 as Carolina is scheduled to take on the Colts in Indianapolis. Unfortunately, or fortunately—depending on your perspective—that won’t be happening.
For some time, Luck was rumored to enter the NFL Draft a year early in 2011. The feeling was he would be Carolina’s first overall pick, part of a possible “package deal” with Stanford HC Jim Harbaugh. Luck decided to stay in college for another year, and Harbaugh was hired by the San Francisco 49ers.
It all worked out. The Panthers hired Ron Rivera and drafted Newton. The two men have accounted for three division titles and a Super Bowl appearance.
Four years later, Luck and Newton met on a rainy Monday night in uptown Charlotte. This was a memorable game for many reasons: The weather. The early turnovers. Some exquisite passing from Newton. An amazing rally by Luck. Three great overtime field goals.
In the end, Carolina won the game. But it also served as a reminder: Andrew Luck was one special dude. Mentally and physically tough, fighting his way back from a 17-point deficit to tie the game. It was a treat to watch.
Here’s a look back, courtesy of ESPN and the National Football League: