NFL: 'Suck for Luck' campaign bothered quarterback
Andrew Luck never bothered to buy a T-shirt.
Not even for posterity.
That's how little the Colts rookie quarterback thought of the whole "Suck For Luck" movement, if you want to call it that.
"I wasn't too fond of that idea when someone brought it to my attention," Luck says as he prepares to face the Dolphins for the first time. "I didn't think it was that neat. I've never believed that fans should encourage their teams to lose."
One year ago this week, "Suck For Luck" reached its apex.
The Dolphins had fallen to 0-7 and were down to backup quarterback Matt Moore. Despair had long since set in.
Luck, then finishing out a record-breaking career at Stanford, was widely considered the ultimate prize in the next NFL Draft.
This was before Robert Griffin III surged to the Heisman and Ryan Tannehill flew up the draft board.
A small group of frustrated Dolphins fans connected the dots and began endorsing a radical concept.
Why not tank the rest of the 2011 season? Especially if it could mean ending a quarterback drought that stretched back to the end of Dan Marino's 17-year run?
The hashtag "#suck4luck" took off on Twitter.
At least a half-dozen Facebook pages cropped up carrying that same controversial theme.
The most popular page proved to be "Miami Dolphins Suck For Luck," which is still up and has 626 likes.
An anonymous site administrator even photoshopped a bearded Luck wearing an aqua jersey. An orange Dolphins logo served as the "O' in "For."
The contact number listed: 1-800-Suck-4-Luck.
Dolphins players weren't pleased, even as they jockeyed for draft position with the winless Colts, Rams and Vikings.
"It's not right, bro," linebacker Karlos Dansby said.
"It's sick, actually," tight end Anthony Fasano told a national radio show.
Reminded of that, Fasano smiles and says he never had to defend his comment when he came across Dolphins fans around town. If there were Suck For Luckers in his midst, no one ever gave him grief for, you know, actually trying to win.
"I appreciate their passion for the team," he says. "Sometimes their passion gets the best of them."
And what if someone in an official capacity had ever asked the players to lose on purpose?
"That compromises the competitiveness and what makes sports great," Fasano says. "It's not only morally against how athletes are trained but probably illegal."
Then came that upset win at Kansas City one year ago this week, and the mini-run that followed eventually put the "Suck For Luck" talk to rest.
Miami coach Tony Sparano still lost his job. General manager Jeff Ireland still kept his. Luck still went first overall, and by finishing 6-10 the Dolphins were forced to settle for the eighth overall draft pick.
That turned out to be Tannehill, who seems to be working out OK so far.
A sprained left knee could keep him out of this potential showdown, but the kid from Texas A&M is still right there with the former Stanford All-American. Both of their teams are a surprising 4-3, and Tannehill (27th) is two spots higher than Luck (29th) in the passer ratings.
How do the Suck For Luck organizers feel now?
"Much rather have Luck," Rizzmiggizz tweets, "than the garbage wins â¦ and Tannehill."
Another, who goes by finfanchubby, calls Tannehill a "nice consolation prize."
Meanwhile, GregFromDelray deems the group "optimistic and pretty happy" with Tannehill.
"Hope we are proven wrong," he tweets.
Even Luck, whose talent inspired the whole oddball movement, seems at peace with the outcome.
"Things tend to work out in a good way," he says. "I'm glad both organizations are headed in the right direction."
That definitely doesn't suck.