Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck is regarded as the best quarterback prospect since either John Elway or Peyton Manning, depending on who you talk to. He is the consensus No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, and some teams down on their fortune this year may have a chance at claiming him with the top overall pick very soon.
Of course, teams who are playing horribly right now (Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts) may find themselves with an unenthusiastic Luck come draft day. There has been speculation as to whether or not Luck and his father Oliver, who serves as athletic director at West Virginia University, will force a trade if he doesn't like the organization he gets picked by.
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning can provide some perspective on that. Manning was the consensus No. 1 pick in 2003, and he forced his way out of San Diego by telling the Chargers that he would not play for them. The Chargers picked him anyways with the first overall pick, and the Giants pulled off a trade shortly thereafter to bring Manning to New York.
According to an ESPN report, Manning had this to say when asked if he holds any regrets about his draft-related decision: "No, I don't have any regrets- I've enjoyed being here, enjoyed how everything worked out on the draft day, and, you know, I'm happy being a Giant and happy with what I've done here."
That's something that Luck should take into account as teams continue their "Suck for Luck" campaigns. Controlling one's NFL destiny may be reproachable by the standards of some fans, but it's also an important decision that could determine one's happiness for years to come. It could potentially make the difference between all-time great and also-played.
Manning was later asked what he would tell Luck if he decides to control his NFL destination like Manning did. Eager to be rid of the question, Manning responded, "I'll talk about it if it happens, if he calls me."
Luck doesn't need to call Manning when the time comes. If Luck feels as strongly about whichever team gets the first draft pick as Manning did about the Chargers, then forcing his way out may be the best move. The noble form of action here may be to stick it out and rise to the occasion, but that might come with a cost. If Luck decides to play for a franchise that he doesn't believe in, he may find himself facing the regrets that Manning never had to.
All of that is far off in the distance, though. For now, Luck will continue focusing his energy on Stanford's hunt for the BCS National Championship while ignoring the ongoing ‘Suck for Luck' campaign.