Aut inveniam viam aut faciam.
It’s taped above my computer monitor. Has been for a while. Roughly translated it’s Latin for I’ll find a way or make one.
It could be the motto for folks who run small businesses. One who does gave it to me a long time ago.
I wish it was the motto for NFL quarterbacks.
To be clear, I don’t have any inside scoop on Andrew Luck. A couple of lifetimes ago I was a sportswriter. Had fate zigged instead of zagged, I might be in that world today. But I’m not, so don’t read this for any scoops, a la, Adam Schefter.
Like a lot of you, I’ve been following my teams in the NFL for a long time. I was a Baltimore Colts and Chicago Bears fan when I was a kid. I rooted like crazy for Johnny Unitas, Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers, John Mackey, Mike Curtis and others. I hated Broadway Joe for ruining the Colts’ stellar ’68 season.
Why were these my teams? Well, I liked the Bears because my dad and granddad took me to St. Joe College in Rensselaer to watch Papa Bear George Hallas and his Chicago squad practice.
But the Colts? I liked them for one simple reason, Johnny U.
The quarterback position has always been a big draw for fans. Take my wife. She likes the Carolina Panthers. She’ll tell you that she likes them because we lived in North Carolina when they were building the stadium down in Charlotte. But truth to tell? She thinks Cam Newton is hot.
The game is all about QBs. Always has been.
And ours, the aforementioned Andrew Luck, told us he doesn’t want to play anymore. He told us his feelings got hurt when we booed. And he told us a lot more. His joy is gone. Playing with pain is no fun. More stuff.
Aut inveniam viam aut faciam.
I’m not in a position to judge Andrew Luck. I mean c’mon, how many of us buy lottery tickets? How many of us would say sayonara tomorrow if we won?
Luck won the lottery when, to paraphrase a line from the mythical Crash Davis, the football gods reached down and turned his right arm into a thunderbolt.
He rode that arm and the body that came with it to legendary heights on Texas high school fields, at Stanford University and finally, with our Colts. His football stats were epic. Ditto the classroom.
He worked hard and was rewarded handsomely. To be fair, he put in plenty of blood, sweat and tears to put himself into exactly the position he’s in now – the captain of his own fate.
A fate, he told us, that would no longer involve football.
He has every right.
And so do we. The fans have every right to want their quarterback to do more than say “I’ve come to the proverbial fork in the road, and I made a vow to myself that if I ever did again, I’d choose me.”
He chose him.
Over us. Over his teammates. Over everything.
It’s not what we hoped for.
We want our QB – our larger than life hero – to give it everything they’ve got. We look back and think of the black-and-white photo of Y.A. Tittle, bloodied and on his knees at the end of his career. We remember the often-injured Brett Favre playing through the pain. Some of us recall George Blanda learning how to kick so he could keep playing after his QB days were over (and he did, playing to the age of 48). Heck, we even hate and admire Tom Brady all at the same time for his refusal to go quietly into that good night.
But Brady and Drew Brees and (is it heresy to say) Peyton Manning and those guys are the exceptions now. Why? Because we live in a “me-first” world where the never-say-die attitude is as rare as a missed Adam Vinatieri kick.
No siree, Bob. Now we have a world where TV and radio talking heads tell us we shouldn’t be mad or disappointed at young Mr. Luck – but should instead celebrate his decision. This is a world where we are chastised for booing and for toxic masculinity, whatever that means. Could it be that those same networks are now kissing Mr. Luck’s departing posterior, hoping he might join their little fraternity, and help their slumping ratings? Another mystery for another day.
For the debacle around Andrew Luck, it would be too easy to say this is another example of the everyone-gets-a-trophy mentality. Maybe that’s part of it, but sadly, what it’s really about is we are raising generations that will never understand aut inveniam viam aut faciam.

Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears periodically on Wednesdays in The Paper. Timmons is the publisher of The Paper and can be contacted at ttimmons@thepaper24-7.com.