Being a football fan has its highs and lows, much like life in general. However, for the past four years, I wouldn't describe being an Indianapolis Colts fan as fun.
In August of 2019, just days before the NFL regular season was to begin, our star quarterback Andrew Luck abruptly announced his retirement.
I was devastated.
In what would be his final season, Luck led us to a playoff win over the Houston Texans and won the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year award after dealing with a multitude of injuries over the previous few years.
Heading into the 2019 season, it seemed as if he were finally healthy and the Colts' management had assembled a formidable offensive line to protect him. As a Colts fan, I felt as if 2019 the year we could make a real Super Bowl run.
Unfortunately, we never got to find out because, as I mentioned, Luck retired during the pre-season and left us with backup Jacoby Brissett as the starter for the upcoming campaign. I love Brissett, but he's a quality backup, not a superstar, and we missed the playoffs.
The next three years under center in Indy were a clinic in instability. Three quarterbacks in three years, which is the exact opposite of what an NFL fan wants. The key to success in the NFL is having a franchise quarterback, and we didn't have one.
Philip Rivers was acquired to be the starting quarterback and led us to the playoffs in his lone year in Indy. It was a fun season, but Colts fans knew he wasn't the solution.
Carson Wentz was brought in via trade following Rivers' retirement, but, his time in the blue and white lasted only a season after missing the playoffs. His tenure as the quarterback was disappointing and was ultimately shipped to Washington.
Matt Ryan was next up for the Colts. The former league MVP was in his late 30s at this point in his career, but optimism was high around the franchise that Ryan could give us a good year or two. Unfortunately, he couldn't. Ryan looked like a shell of his former self which forced the front office to move on.
There was one good thing that came from Ryan's short time in Indy, though. Ryan, with the help of fellow quarterbacks Nick Foles and Sam Ehlinger secured the fourth-worst record in the NFL, which gave us the fourth pick in this year's draft.
As a result, for the first time in nearly five years, my Indianapolis Colts have a direction at quarterback.
The Colts took Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson with the fourth overall pick during the NFL draft last Thursday. Now, I know Richardson has a lot of doubters. If I said I wasn't a little nervous about him wouldn't be truthful. However, as I told the Sentinel's own Dillon Barnes, I'm going to be his biggest fan.
For those unaware, Richardson has all of the tools to be a top quarterback in the league. He's 6'4" and 240 pounds and runs a 4.4 40-yard dash with one of the strongest arms in the NFL. Richardson's potential is through the roof, but that also comes with the possibility that he may be a bust.
He only has 13 career starts in college and his stats aren't great, but the likelihood that top quarterbacks taken in the NFL draft don't pan out is relatively high. Taking one with Richardson's upside is a good move.
Whether he ends up being a bust or leading us to a Super Bowl, now is a fun time to be a Colts fan. It's fun to feel the optimism I felt over 10 years ago when we drafted Andrew Luck. We finally have someone to get behind as a fan base.
He seems like a good person. He's humble and has a supportive family. It's not hard to root for a guy like that, especially when he's your new starting quarterback. I hope Anthony Richardson becomes the best quarterback in the NFL someday, but even if he doesn't, I'm going to enjoy the feeling of having a new franchise quarterback while I can.
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