Retired Colts punter-turned-sports media personality Pat McAfee is skeptical of the Andrew Luck comeback rumors, and broke down in great detail why he thinks the story is bogus.
The story began with a since-deleted tweet from someone named Mike Austin (@kareemjumpman), who claims his wife knows someone who is close with the Luck family.
“@RicardonSports my wife has a mutual friend with Nicole’s best friend which is the wife of Andrew. I think this answers a lot of our questions. This was Sunday or yesterday, I’m not sure,” Austin wrote.
The tweet came with a screenshot which Austin claims is a text exchange between his wife’s friend and “Nicole P,” or Nicole Luck (née: Pechanec) that implies Luck may be coming out of retirement. The thread starts with Nicole revealing that the Luck’s 1-year-old daughter Lucy just spoke a full sentence.
“Okay, massive moment, right? Your baby just spoke a sentence,” McAfee said on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Wednesday. “This is how tight Mike Austin’s wife’s mutual friend is with Nicole, okay? Very tight.”
Nicole then invites her friend to go shopping at Sak’s while Andrew has “a meeting with Jim around noon-ish.”
Luck, 31, retired two weeks before the start of the 2019 NFL season after injuries marred his final years in the league. He finished with a 60.8 completion percentage for 23,671 yards, 171 touchdowns and 83 interceptions through six regular seasons and is a four-time Pro Bowler. The 33-year-old McAfee played with Luck from 2012 to 2016.
McAfee then begins to pick apart the story’s incongruities in great detail, as though he were analyzing tape.
“Nicole’s best friend got a text message from Nicole just using the word, ‘Jim,’ and then her best friend didn’t know which Jim she was referring to?” McAfee questioned. “Is that really a best friend that you’d be telling that your baby just said a full sentence to? Questions. I have questions. But allegedly, this is from Nicole.”
Nicole clarifies the “Jimmy” she’s referring to is, “Jimmy with the Colts,” or presumably owner Jim Irsay.
“Jimmy with the Colts! Jim Irsay,” McAfee mocked, while his crew laughed. “Jimmy with the Colts, Jimmy horseshoe. Jimmy, the guy who gave us $25 million. Jimmy!”
The exchange continues with Nicole revealing that the retired signal-caller misses football, which her friend also claims, “we told him he would.”
“So this person told Andrew Luck he would miss football and doesn’t know who Jim is when Andrew Luck’s wife texted Jim?” McAfee said. “Alright, okay.”
“Misses is an understatement,” Nicole wrote. “If he does play again, this is the first step. We all hate when he’s gone for a day or two at a time but he’ll be so much happier. We all know he misses it more then anything (sic).”
After Luck’s shocking retirement, the Colts were left with backup Jacoby Brissett to play quarterback in 2019. During the offseason, they inked longtime Chargers QB Philip Rivers to a one-year deal, who started all 16 games.
Rivers, 39, retired shortly after the Colts’ wild-card round loss, leaving the team’s future at quarterback very uncertain. They will pick 21st in the 2021 NFL Draft, which, barring a trade, would likely put them out of contention for one of the top quarterback prospects and would make the prospect of a Luck return an attractive one.
“I would like to say this: As a Colts fan, I tell you what. I hope Michael Austin’s wife’s mutual friend is Nicole Luck’s best friend. By the way, congrats on the full sentence from Lucy. Congrats on him potentially getting back into football, all Indianapolis Colts fans. That’s awesome for us,” McAfee added. “But a massive f–k you to Nicole’s best friend who leaked these text messages [and] Mike Austin, his wife, and everybody else, because this is completely slapping privacy in the face of any person you’re trying to basically extort information out of now when you’re supposed to be a best friend.”
Colts running back Nyheim Hines added his two cents into the Luck discussion on Tuesday on PFT PM with Charean William, who asked him if he sees a return in the cards for his former teammate.
“Absolutely not,” Hines said resolutely. “I don’t see it at all.
“I trust in [general manager] Chris Ballard and Jim Irsay and everybody on our staff to make the right choice for our team. They’ve been doing a great job and we’ve put a pretty good squad together over the past three years with coach Frank Reich. I think whoever they bring in, they’re gonna be great for our organization.”