Andrew Luck is a superstar quarterback. Across his five seasons, he has shown himself to be among the best players in the NFL at his position. He is also, apparently, a pretty weird dude.
In a story at Bleacher Report, Ty Dunne talked to several of Luck's teammates, friends and coaches about his strange ticks. Some highlights:
In college, one of Luck's friends asked Luck what book he was reading. Luck replied that he was reading a book about the history of concrete.
The quarterback was an architectural design major at Stanford and found this book -- the equivalent of walking into interstate traffic for most of society -- downright fascinating.
"For me," says (Marshall) Hughes, now the sports director at WATE in Knoxville, Tennessee, "that'd be an absolute struggle. Punishment.
"I said, 'Golly! You are a different cat.'"
Luck has some pretty epic ping-pong battles.
"We'd just go out there and talk mess to each other constantly," says Ben Bredthauer, another one of Luck's closest friends who was his tight end through high school. "It would get way too competitive."
Instead of playing classical games to 21, they'd play to five through a best-of-five series--and it was typically two-on-two. The losing duo then needed to take off their shirts, turn around and take three direct pingpong shots to the back. Welts were the norm.
A pingpong scar could last for days. A pingpong scar from Luck? That would last for weeks.
Luck's zingers were sent, Bredthauer says, at "100 miles an hour."
He's an architecture nerd.
During study halls, Luck didn't thumb through iPhone apps. He drew. One desk over, Hughes watched Luck scribble designs of football stadiums. His passion for architecture ran deep. He'd detail to Hughes which stadium structures would go where.
He still uses a flip phone -- and a land line.
As Colts running back Vick Ballard said, "If anybody had a flip phone, they were probably a grandparent. Because it's simple. It's a phone with buttons, period."
He asks teammates weird trivia questions and gives virtual tours.
During the Colts' London trip this season, Luck was popping trivia questions to teammates. Questions like, center Ryan Kelly recalls, "Did you know the Big Ben tower has this many frames of glass?"
"I don't know if that's from reading a s--t ton," Kelly says, "or if it's stuff he learned at Stanford."
Upon landing, Luck directed teammates' attention to "Blucifer." The 32-foot statue of a horse with glowing red eyes actually killed the man who designed it. New Mexico sculptor Luis Jimenez died in 2006 when a chunk of the horse fell on him and pinned him to the ground. Jimenez had been working on the horse for a decade and faced lawsuits for not finishing it on time.
The horse was later pieced together and displayed at the airport.
"It's like, 'What?!'" Kelly says. "How does he know that stuff?"
"He knows stuff that people haven't heard of yet," running back Robert Turbin says, "or seen on the news or read about yet."
The whole bus ride from the airport to the team hotel, Saunders remembers Luck provided a site-by-site tour of every historical monument. Maybe this information was not all retained, but players weren't rolling their eyes, either. What's cheesy and boring to us outsiders is absorbed by insiders.
And all of that, of course, is in addition to being the quarterback and best player on the team. That, presumably, is why the Colts put up with him asking them all kinds of strange questions.
In all seriousness, it's great that Luck has interests outside of football, whatever they are. It's always good to immerse yourself in the world and acquire knowledge about different subjects. Luck has clearly done that.