As Luck Would Have it …

Bobby Curran
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Friday - October 26, 2011
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Andrew Luck. AP photo

In the midst of an NFL season any number of general managers are playing a version of fantasy football. Like many of us who have had the daydream of winning megamillions, those GMs are dreaming of holding the top ticket in the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes.

Here’s how you play: Field an absolutely horrible team in 2011. One, maybe two, wins would be good; winless would be better. You wouldn’t even have to be in desperate need of a franchise QB to salivate over the prospect of Luck wearing your cap on draft day. In the case of the St. Louis Rams, for example, since they have a fine, young signal-caller in Sam Bradford, they could parlay the pick into a trade for half a defense and a receiver or two, or maybe even an offensive lineman willing to block somebody.

Let’s look at other possible contestants.

* Denver Broncos: What a way to end the Tim Tebow debate once and for all. Not even the rabid Bronco fan who’s been swilling Tebow-flavored Kool-Aid by the gallon could object to welcoming the best QB prospect since John Elway. It would allow Coach Fox to ignore the fans before he ends up sitting next to them.

* Miami Dolphins: How excited can you get about Chad Henne or Matt Moore? Exactly. If Andrew Luck goes to the Dolphins, it might help them lure a proven head coach like Bill Cowher who otherwise would pass on the job. Even John Gruden would be tempted to leave the TV booth to try to win another Super Bowl.

* Indianapolis Colts: General manager Bill Polian needs a win, and this would be the one. Even if he fully recovers, Peyton Manning is in the late autumn of his career, and right now there’s not a single doctor willing to guarantee that he even plays next year. But if he does, what a luxury to have Luck mentored by one of the best in a situation where he can understudy for a couple of years.

* Minnesota Vikings: It’s clear that Donovan McNabb is not the answer, and now Christian Ponder will have ample time to prove whether he’s the right guy. If he’s not, it’s possible that Luck could join former teammate Toby Gerhart in the land of 10,000 lakes.

* Carolina Panthers: A very similar situation to St Louis. The Panthers have Cam Newton, but they’d love to be able to load up on quality players and draft picks. Carolina has plenty of needs that could be addressed immediately.

So why is everyone so crazy about Luck? As San Francisco Chronicle writer Tom Fitzgerald told us, “Not only is Luck a gifted athlete with an incredible arm, he’s a fabulous decision maker who is content to win regardless of the numbers he puts up. He is extremely smart, and mature well beyond his years. He is by a long way the best prospect in the last 30 years.”

Never has losing held such a chance at a big win.

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