By Shalise Manza Young
One of the persistent stereotypes about football players is that they’re all dumb jocks who never pick up a book unless it says “playbook” on the cover. And while of course there are NFL players, like people in all walks of life, whose leisure reading is an ingredient label on a bag of snacks, there are many for whom that’s not the case.
New England Patriots receiver Malcolm Mitchell‘s story of joining a book club of with Georgia grandmothers was read widely last year, and retired wideout Donte’ Stallworth is such a bibliophile he used to use the backseat of his car as a library when he ran out of shelf space.
And maybe it’s not news to everyone, but we were surprised to learn that Indianapolis Colts franchise quarterback Andrew Luck not only has his own book club, but the usually-reserved QB recently started a podcast in which he speaks with authors. The podcast has been picked up by Indianapolis’ NPR station, WFYI.
Last week, Luck chatted with children’s fantasy author T.A. Barron, who created the Merlin Saga series, and last month his guest was Nike co-founder Phil Knight, who released a memoir called “Shoe Dog” in 2016.
On Monday, Luck posted a video on the book club’s Twitter feed to announce his picks for books of the month for May: for rookies (children), it’s the classic “A Wrinkle in Time,” and for veterans (adults), it’s “The Soul of an Octopus.”
The book club is a great way for Luck to engage with fans; a few weeks ago, when he found out that the winning classroom in a contest he held was local, Luck showed up to read “Zen Shorts” (a personal favorite in our house, as it turns out) to the students instead of just visiting with them via Skype.