According to Kevin Clark of the Wall Street Journal, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has perplexed his opponents by complimenting them after a big hit on him. Instead of saying nothing or complaining to the referee about the rough nature of the impact, Luck says things like, “Great job” or “Nice hit!”:
"“In all the years I’ve played football I have never heard anything like it,” said Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. “Nothing even close.”’Luck has become famous for congratulating—sincerely and enthusiastically—any player to hit him hard. Any sack is met with a hearty congratulations, such as ”great job” or “what a hit!” He yells it after hard hits that don’t result in sacks, too. It is, players say, just about the weirdest thing any quarterback does in the NFL.“You want to say thank you but then you say ‘wait a second–I’m not supposed to like you!’” Kerrigan said."
While there may be some obvious gamesmanship to Luck’s unusual response, many of those who know him well, think he’s simply a genuinely nice guy:
"Those who know him best say the most likely reason behind his comments is that he’s just a really nice guy. Former Stanford teammates, for instance, say there’s likely an element of gamesmanship, but that’s secondary to his sincere respect for a good play—even one that resulted in him getting knocked off his feet.Washington Redskins linebacker Trent Murphy, Luck’s teammate at Stanford, said Luck would interrupt film sessions to praise an opponent’s hit of him. The harder the better.“He’s yelling ‘nice hit, nice hit!’ and we’re like ‘uh, no one else does this.’”"
Instead of the element of gamesmanship, it’s probably in large part due to great sportsmanship. His father, Oliver Luck, a former NFL quarterback himself, said that he raised his son to always be respectful and that it may have carried over to the football field:
"“My wife and I raised all four of our kids with appropriate values, with respect for other people and to be kind and generous and I guess that carried over to the football field,” said Luck’s father, Oliver, a former NFL quarterback who is now the athletic director at West Virginia University."
Whatever his true intentions may be, Andrew Luck’s opponents are now unsure of what to say or do after being complimented from their big hit.
Mind games…Andrew Luck…mind games…