The football world was a wee bit shocked when Andrew Luck, oft-injured quarterback for the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, announced last week that he was hanging up his cleats. Everyone had lots of thoughts about it (including Focus on the Family’s own Jim Daly). Fox Sports’ Doug Gottlieb nearly united Twitter in anger when he insinuated that Luck just didn’t want to rehab and his retirement was “the most millennial thing ever.” Many others sided with Luck, and some say that that Luck’s retirement is a another sign of how the mindset of professional athletes is changing. Wrote The Atlantic’s Jemele Hill:
Football players used to be content to play along with the narrative that their bodies were meant to be used up. … But as Maya Angelou once said, “When you know better, do better.” And unlike the previous generations of NFL players, today’s players are more keenly aware that their relationship with fans and the game itself is totally conditional.
But for others, the retirement of Andrew Luck, the NFL player, was secondary to the departure of Andrew Luck, the Civil War captain.
Since 2015, “Captain Andrew Luck” (featuring a picture of the football star in full Union uniform) has posted old-fashioned, often poignant missives on Twitter to more than 540,000 followers—ostensibly letters to his “Dearest Mother.” Shortly after Luck (the QB) announced his retirement, Luck (the Captain) posted this:
Dearest mother —
The quill has never felt more heavy. I have made the decision to holster my sidearm permanently. I shall battle no more. The decision is difficult, but, as the hogs taught me, I must be true to myself. I am coming home to care for you and the farm.
— Capt. Andrew Luck (@CaptAndrewLuck) August 25, 2019
The Captain followed it up with a longer letter (posted to si.com), telling the world that “life of the family farm was just as I remembered.”
“Dearest friends — I hope this letter finds you all well. Life on the family farm is just as I remembered…”
— The MMQB (@theMMQB) August 28, 2019
While there’s still some question whether Captain Andrew Luck is really and truly gone from the Twitterverse, it sure sounds like a somber goodbye. And the identity of the tweets’ author remains a secret.
Luck’s break with NFL/Civil War active duty wasn’t the only breakup in the news this week.
Folks are still talking about the Sony/Disney split over Spider-Man—including Hawkeye himself, Jeremy Renner. Liam Hemsworth has filed for divorce from the always interesting, often vexing Miley Cyrus. The pair announced their separation, after which Cyrus allegedly hooked up with Kaitlynn Carter (with whom she was spotted at MTV’s Video Music Awards, as well as in some PDA-packed pics of the pair on Twitter.) That was apparently the final straw for Hemsworth, who also insinuated previous infidelities—which Cyrus has denied, saying that . she’s no liar,.) A California high school is forcing its students to split with their cell phones during school—throwing the electronic bricks into the hoosegow. And while Kim Kardashian is in no way divorcing celebrity, she does admit that she was “embarrassingly obsessed” with fame. (Nowadays, she’s concentrating more on getting a law degree.)
Also, it seems as though viewers may be splitting up with MTV’s Video Music Awards, which once again set the wrong kind of ratings benchmark. Just 1.9 million viewers watched—an all-time low. (“It’s not me,” viewers say. “It’s you.”)
But the show was also the forum for a much-buzzed reunion between influential rapper Missy Elliott (who won the VMA’s Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award) and Alyson Stoner, a child who dance in the video for Elliott’s 2002 song “Work It.” (Now 26, Stoner showcased enough moves to nearly steal the spotlight.) Also on the show, Cardi B. thanked a woman for editing her cellulite out of her music videos, and John Travolta tried to give one of Taylor Swift’s awards to a lookalike drag queen.
Swift did eventually collect her hardware, claiming a total of three awards for the evening (including for Best Video for “You Need to Calm Down”). (She also raised an eyebrow or two with her acceptance speech: “You voting for this video means you want a world where we all treated equally regardless of who we love and how we identify,” she said.) Ariana Grande (who was not in attendance) and Billie Ellish also took home their share of little statuettes, too, claiming three apiece.
Dwayne Johnson and Scarlett Johansson didn’t win anything at the VMAs, but they have so much money they probably don’t care that much. Forbes ranks them tops on their annual highest-paid actors and actresses in the world list: “The Rock banked $89.4 million between June 1, 2018 and June 1, 2019, while Johansson pocketed $56 million in that same time frame.”
Oh, incidentally, Johansson isn’t the only Marvel Avenger to land in the top 10 on these lists: Chris “Thor” Hemsworth, Robert “Iron Man” Downey Jr., Chris “Captain America” Evans and Paul “Ant Man” Rudd all landed there, too—not to mention Bradley Cooper, who serves as the voice of Guardians of the Galaxy’s Rocket Raccoon.
Normally, I like to end culture clips with an item of no consequence, because really we all need a little fun in our lives. But today, let’s close with a clip of great consequence: Karen Swallow Prior, writing for Christianity Today, on how reading the Bible on our smartphones (and other screens) may be changing how we interact with the Good Book. She writes:
As our reading becomes more immersed in a digital rather than a print culture, the more we return to some qualities of the pre-literate world. We are reading more, but the way we read replicates the effects of the discrete images of stained glass windows more than the sustained, logical, and coherent linearity of a whole book.
Interesting. I wonder what Captain Andrew Luck would think about that?