Andrew Luck Retirement Press Conference Speech Transcript: Luck Retiring from NFL - transcription powered by Happy Scribe

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Live on HQ, Andrew Luck announcing his retirement from the NFL for parents and children, reading to kids at schools, hanging out, children's museum, the wonderful things they do there. So a big thank you to the city. It's always will hold a special place in my heart. And I guess I'll transition to this current team and why it makes it so difficult, I guess, for me to stand up here and and say I'm retired. It's a great group of men.

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It's a great group of guys. One that the group that makes coming to work every day feel very, very special. And I feel incredibly lucky for that. And fans and people need to know about the men in that locker room. They're great. They're honest, they're real. There's no bigger fan of them than me. Chris Ballard, thank you. You know, I have so much respect and admiration for you. A lot of tough conversations.

[00:00:59.06]
I've learned so much from him. The honesty. It's incredible, Frank. So Pfeifle driven kind again. I've learned so much. So, you know, there were times last year that I have to pinch myself and say, is this for real or am I allowed to have this much fun on a football field? It started with you. Nick Siriano and Marcus Brady. It's the same. I'm going to miss being with them every day. They're there.

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They're good people. All the rest of the staff. They made the. Coming into work a joy. Something that I certainly, certainly will miss. And I don't know, coming back last year and playing, a lot of people had a lot of. Lot helping a lot of ways, and they'll they'll never know how important that was to me. And again, so, so appreciative. And my teammates, I feel so conflicted because of my love for these men.

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But it but it is clear to me that's what's best for this team, is me. Does not involve me. And I'd like to say a quick note about a few of them. So as we get towards the end here, but when I was a 7 year old, my my father drove me up to Amsterdam and I watched Adam Van Attari kick for the Amsterdam Admirals and NFL Europe. Then when I was in seventh grade, my father took me to the Super Bowl in Houston and I watched Adam punditry take a game winner against the Carolina Panthers.

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And then, of course, my for my first win as a colt involves Adam Planetary kicking a game winner against the Minnesota Vikings. And I told him all this earlier today. I stand in awe of Adam Planetary. He's a he's a he's a great man, a great teammate. And again, he's one of those guys. I'll tell my grandkids I got to play with him. The guys on the other line, Braden Galo, Ryan, Q Hagrid, La, Raven, Bama, Josh and of course, Anthony.

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They've been a pleasure to play around. There's so many more than that I've played with in the past, but they they were a big part of last year being very special for me. Obviously, the success of the team and I'm so grateful and appreciative to have had a guy like I, it just stands up here in the building from the day I walked in. Jacoby Brissette is an awesome dude. He's got a bright future. He's diligent. Sharp loves football.

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I hope I can continue to support him in different ways. I am so grateful for our friendship. On a personal level, it's getting a little more personal. But coming back into the building early last year, I was very jealous and resentful of this fun, happy do. That was in my spot as a quarterback on this team. I obviously didn't have a lot of confidence in myself at that time either, but I could not have been more wrong.

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And he helped me grow in so many ways as a lifelong friend. He means so, so much to me. He was a big part of me having one and more rewarding years of my football life last year. I cannot wait to support him and see him lead this team. I am excited for the future of the Colts, in large part because of Jacoby and also all the other men in that locker room. There's so many guys on offense and defense that have had a pleasure to play with.

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Clayton Gathers is I love watching. Clayton Gathers run around and play football. All the running backs and Rafie the tight ends. Eric Brown was fun to play with. I'm so excited for his future. He's a great friend. Mo, Jack Doyle, Jack, Jack and I have been through a lot together. I'm going to miss him a lot on the football field. But we're friends forever. And the rest of the guys I have so, so, so much respect and love.

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And it runs so deep in me for them. And I and I hope they feel that because I know so many guys in that locker room have had such a significant impact on my life and so many of so many ways. And lastly, in terms of guys on this team, too, I hope I had more fun throwing the football at t.y than than should be allowed probably when I was when I was away in 2017 for the for the latter half from the latter half of the season to figure out why I wanted to come back and play football.

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And I boiled it simply down to the fact that I like throwing the ball to my friends. And I love throwing the ball to t.y. Hilton is the best football player I've ever played with. He's a better teammate than he is a football player. In conclusion, my my folks who aren't here tonight. But mom, dad. Then we add. Uncoil. My friends, thank you. And my wife, Nicole, thank you. I love you.

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And I guess in a philosophical sense, a lot of football for so many wonderful moments in my life and the pressure, circumstances, environment that pushed me to grow, learn, change and so many meaningful ways. It's the greatest team sport in the world. And please, if you have questions, I'd like to ask them. Just plain mentioned. No, I'll be honest. I was gonna tell my teammates after the game and 3 p.m. tomorrow isn't this time I was going to talk to you guys.

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So it's always been difficult. Wake up this morning. And I oh, I didn't wake up this morning, a week and a half, two weeks. It's been a little bit fast and furious and. The lack of progress on my ankle and I'm in pain. I'm still in pain. I've been in this cycle, which feels like I mean, it's been four years of this injury pain rehab cycle and for me to move forward in my life the way I want to.

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It doesn't involve football like. This was the tipping point. If not for this, you might have a different conversation. Yeah, I I don't. I guess that's the reality is I I have this and I've had had this. And, you know, so I I don't I don't know if tipping point, but, you know, it's. Shoulder the man kleiss, this anodes. It's it's. I've never been I've. I don't forget I've lived the life, you know, I can't live the life that I want to live.

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Moving forward. So that first time retirement is, in your mind, in a serious way. Yeah. A couple of weeks ago we can. A half ago? No. Yeah, I feel quite exhausted. I'm quite tired. I do know once I had the sort of point where I felt like I knew what I needed to do for myself and talk to Nicole and my folks and some close friends and family that then had some, you know, some very difficult conversations with Mr.

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, say, Frank and Chris. But it did feel like, in a sense, a weight was lifted then. But but it's it's been tiring. I feel tired and not just in the physical sense. It's the final straw angel after a workout. What was it you said? You know what? Go home. Sleep on it. Sighs I don't know if there was a final straw. Persay, the lack of progress, I think, just built up and run into one.

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Okay. Turn the corner. CANDIDATES GRUNTING Another stumble back. Turn the corner. Turn the corner. And, you know, I came over. There's one thing that the tipping point or final straw. But yeah, I I feel so much clarity and again, so grateful for for for for the for the experiences and the and the positive times that I have had here. You know, say for now when the Eagles finally. Yeah.

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I can't see the future. Zach I gotta sit here, sir, but I very clearly in my mind see that that that I'm that I won't sign. Yeah. You say you know what's going on with the ankle. Yes. It's a mirror. It's a myriad of issues. And I cap strain poster impingement, high ankle sprain. I say it's part of my journey. Going forward, we'll be getting out of pain and figuring out what's going on and and how to and how to how to how to feel better, obviously.

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So I don't have any definitiveness on my not mind on it. We'll continue working on that. It's quite a time to deal with that. Did you play? Yeah. I'm not. So it's in the ribs, the kidney shoulder, the ankle, the all that. Over the years is what led us here. Is correct. And I'd like and I'd I'd like to say, too, this has been my personal journey in football. Obviously, not everybody's journey is different.

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And I you know, over the past week, it's a thank you. Do I have a bunch of resentment towards this game or spite towards you come into this building? And I don't. All I feel is love for this game and love for my teammates and walking in. And I know I know my journey has had some some ups and downs. And physically, it has taken its toll over the last four years. And that I mean, that is why I'm here and in the mental and emotional toll that that that that takes as well.

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You know, I never could have imagined walking away from football at the age of twenty nine.

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Yeah, I'll be honest. I didn't imagine retiring when I didn't measure retired two weeks ago, so. But no, I didn't think of it that way. No. This Saturday on the field. Yeah. We're emotions. You said that. Yeah. Do you think that you said we're going to play this year? I I I've had a good idea that it might. I had thought that this might be my last time throwing on Lucas soil. You know, and Colton as a as a current member of a Colts team.

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And it was Tomasello made sure to go and enjoy it. You know, you've always been one of those people took the blame on anything, whether it was an interception or whatnot and stuff. Did you ever try to say, all right, maybe I should try to play through this because I don't want to let those guys in the locker room down?

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And so that's a good question. And in 2016, after that season, which I wish I'd played through some stuff, I made a vow to myself that I would never do that again. I've got a not a good place. And I. I felt that the past week and a half, two weeks, and that that's also a big part of why I'm here right now talking about this. He said that it's quite a few times and references. I mean, this game does require you to put yourself second.

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Often times, right. I mean, just just, you know, having the team first and elsewhere is what you have to do just when you've done all that you've done. How did. How were you able to reconcile that? You know, I mean, that's that's a tough, tough calculation it gives to me sometimes. Did you ever over the past heal over the years? Yeah. Look, I. Yeah. It's about team. Like I put myself second or just, you know.

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No, I wouldn't I wouldn't say. I never felt like because in my mind I never looked at it as me or the team part of a team and do my best for the team. I'll do my best for the self and for myself in a sense. But but it's I mean, it's the greatest team game in the world. I've loved being in that locker room. It's it's truly been the honor of a lifetime to to suit up next to many of those guys.

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And that's part of what makes us very, very, very difficult and negative. All you've meant to the team and the city is just stunning in this decision. Any reaction to the fans? Did you hear reaction?

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Well, I feel I'd be lying if I didn't say I heard the reaction. Yeah, it hurt. I'll be honest. It hurt. So the fact you didn't get your your fair chance necessarily.

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You know what? Yeah, I don't I don't look, I I certainly feel like I got my fair chance. And I'm very grateful for every snap that I got to take. And, you know, the lows and learn from them and the highs and and all the positive things that happened in this building that I've got to be a part of. So. So I yeah. I don't hold any resentment, I guess, in that way. I do feel like I got a fair chance and I tried to make the most of my chance.

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And right now my journey just doesn't doesn't include football going forward. And I'm again, so grateful to have I'll feel like a cult forever. I know I will. I'm so grateful again for the Urso family, for Frank, Chris, everybody in that locker room, that is. I've got a chance to, you know, take the field with it's it's truly been the honor of a lifetime. And I understand the suddenness and maybe the surprise behind it.

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I really do. But I also know I have so much clarity about about my next steps moving forward. And I'm so excited for this team. It's it's a great team and huge steps going forward. It's being a father. How much is that factored in?

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Not not really an unusual situation, but how much do you anticipate you mentioned how much you love this franchise, how much they mean to you being around still, you know, this season's about to start. What are your plans? Take a backseat.

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I know I'm friends with so many guys in this locker room. And I mean, we live here. Yeah. This is our home. So support the guys the way I can. And I certainly need to rehab and get feeling good. And yeah, I got some folks that I need to call and Vanko and I might be a late night on the phone and with some friends and some crying and laughing and some teammates. And I guess before I get off, I should also thank those of you covered me for for most of my career.

[00:16:32.09]
All my career. I appreciate you coming. Come to work and talk to your guys gals every now and then. And, you know, I guess a small part of me will miss you as well. So. But but thank you. I very much appreciate it. Mr. Sir Chris Frank, safe family. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.