For a Regular Guy, the Colts' Andrew Luck Is Extraordinary

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistSeptember 4, 2012

Andrew Luck coaches area children. (Photo by Phillip B. Wilson/Indianapolis Star)
Andrew Luck coaches area children. (Photo by Phillip B. Wilson/Indianapolis Star)

What would you do if you had just one day off a week?

Andrew Luck spent his with kids at an Indianapolis youth center.

In many ways, Luck is exactly like any other bright and talented under-30 professional living on his own for the first time in a new city, learning to balance work with relaxation and trying to put down roots.  He may be an all-world quarterback, but he's still a week shy of his 23rd birthday.

At the Legacy Center on the near-Eastside of Indianapolis, Luck displayed his normalcy as well as the traits that have put him on the verge of becoming one of the biggest names in the NFL.

Luck spoke with kids as part of the NFL Play 60 campaign and on behalf of Quaker Oats. He promoted a contest that offers kids the opportunity to run the ball out on to the field at the Super Bowl, but also encouraged children to participate in an active, healthy lifestyle.

Luck was composed but nervous as he attempted to fire up the school children about the merits of a healthy lifestyle. He later jokingly confessed that it was easier to prepare for an NFL defense than a room full of kids.

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With his first NFL start looming, he's finding the process of game preparation different from what he experienced as a college student. He has more time to focus on football as well as meeting the challenge of finding ways to relax in a city where despite knowing no one, he's among the most famous residents. He's already glad to have the burden of classes behind him.

It's nice you can take film home. Obviously, you're gonna relax. You're gonna watch TV, cook, hang out, whatever. It's nice not having class to worry about, homework. You find what you want to do in your free time. Things like this, and then focus on football the rest of the time.

Luck is doing his best to take advantage of an incredible opportunity to learn the culture and vibe of his new home. He does a lot more than sit around watching reruns in spare time, though he confessed to watching a lot of Newsroom on HBO.

I don't sit in my apartment and watch TV all day. I enjoy getting out and going to restaurants. I'm living close to downtown, and I've found there's a lot to do within walking distance, which is neat. It's fun to learn about a new city and learn about the different culture in the mid-west as opposed to living in high school in Texas or out in California.

He's blessed to have a tight-knit family, and the move to Indianapolis has taken him farther away from his younger sister Mary Ellen, a volleyball player at Stanford, but closer to his parents. Like most older brothers, he laughingly acknowledged the benefits of getting some distance from his little sister.

My sister went to Stanford. Our relationship consisted of her calling and asking for my car, me saying no, and her taking it anyway. My folks live in Morgantown, so it's a lot easier to see them. It is only a six-hour drive away, so that's not too bad.

A new job, a new place, far from family and trying to learn the ropes. That's Andrew Luck's life these days.

It's a common story, but Luck's response to the dilemma is uncommon. He's spending his free time trying to serve area kids. He called it the least he could do, adding,

I feel like I'm in a very fortunate position. If I can have a positive impact on someone's life, a young person's life, then that's a good day...I try to bring a smile to someone or positively impact the community in some way. It's the least someone in my position can do...It's a chance to be out here and give back, because people have been very supportive, they really have in my short time here.

Luck is just your typical guy, except he's not.

His challenges and privileges are extraordinary, and he knows he is going to have to rise to meet them. Judging by the reactions of the kids who heard him speak on Tuesday, he's off to a good start.

All quotes were obtained by the reporter.

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