One thing you can say about Andrew Luck is that he’s talented. The first pick of the 2012 draft has stepped into Peyton Manning’s shoes nicely, leading the Colts to the playoffs in each of his first three seasons. Another thing you can say about Luck is that he has the nastiest neckbeard professional sports has ever seen.
His girlfriend and mother have implored him to shave it, and he knows it’s a terrible look, but Luck doesn’t care. Perhaps like Anthony Davis’s unibrow, Luck’s neckbeard is a unique signifier, a refusal to kowtow to society’s standards of beauty. Or maybe nobody ever taught Luck how to shave and he’ll keep looking like a werewolf in need of Rogaine for the rest of his career.
In honor of Indy’s hirsute hero, we decided to look back at ten disgustingly great neckbeards, from Ancient Rome to modern day, to see whether Luck has earned his place on Neckbeard Mount Rushmore.
10. Braden Holtby
Braden Holtby: average goalie, above-average neckbeard.
9. Michael Moore
Michael Moore: Professional filmmaker / troublemaker / neckbeard curator.
8. Redd Foxx
Redd Foxx: Made “Sanford and Son” a must-watch show in the ’70s, but his neckbeard didn’t catch on the way the show’s theme song did.
7. Hank Williams Jr.
Hank Williams Jr.: Ready for some football, not ready to move on from his country-fried Amish facial hair.
6. Jonah Hill
Jonah Hill: Uh… yeah. Next!
5. David Beckham
David Beckham: Immediately made neckbeards cool for the three days he sported one.
4. Horace Greeley
Horace Greeley: Pioneering newspaperman, New York Congressman, Presidential candidate, otherworldly neckbeard. Later inspired a generation of women’s coats.
3. Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner: Composer of “Ride of the Valkyries,” one of the most epic operas of all time, owner of the Beard of the Neckeries, one of the most heinous neckbeards of the 1800s.
Nero: Roman Emperor who fiddled away as Rome burned to the ground because the citizens didn’t approve of what might have been the first neckbeard on record since the days of the cavemen.
1. Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau: Prolific American author who retreated to a solitary life at Walden Pond when his contemporaries mocked his transcendental neckbeard.
So where will Luck fit into this illustrious group? With a loss to the Patriots on Sunday, he could tumble to the depths of Braden Holtby. But if Andrew the Giant can somehow win a Super Bowl, he could easily crack the top 5.