INDIANAPOLIS – Andrew Luck has always been a fan of football.
With a father that played quarterback in the NFL, Luck's life has been immersed in several levels of American pigskin.
So back in February, as a fan, Luck couldn't help but gander at a game those around the globe stop what they are doing to tune into yearly.
What Luck watched of Super Bowl XLIX was little, but the part he did happen to be watching was one of the most captivating finishes in NFL history, seen by more than 100 million American households.
Where Luck's fandom differed from others taking in the Patriots' victory was the empty feeling from not being in the game.
The competitor in Luck made for plenty of mixed emotions in having to merely be a spectator, after falling one game short.
"It was weird watching," Luck told ESPN’s Bob Holtzman this preseason of the Patriots/Seahawks matchup. "I told myself I wasn't going to watch. I was actually on a plane, then got off and was making my way somewhere and stopped to eat dinner with my girlfriend. It was on in the background, so I couldn't help and glance.
"It happened to be the end and what a thrilling finish, but there's a big part of you that is still salty and, 'Shoot, why can't we be there?'"
Some of my favorite black and white images of Andrew Luck from the 2014 season.
For Luck, completely washing out that sour taste is still a few months away but this week begins another opportunity to embark on such a journey.
Year Four for the Colts quarterback has once again stirred plenty of MVP-talk for the three-time Pro Bowler.
The national brand of Luck continues to grow and this season could very well be his last playing under a rookie contract.
With inevitable talks of a mega-deal coming Luck's way, perhaps next offseason, the quarterback is steadfast in trying to block out such discussion.
"Every player wants to get another contract. That's part of the game," Luck says of his upcoming deal.
"As far as timing goes, I think Mr. (Jim) Irsay sort of addressed that earlier this year. It's not going to happen this offseason. In my mind, it will be what it'll be and it'll happen when it happens. I think as a player it's a slippery slope if you think too much about your contract. I've always thought, take care of stuff on the field and hopefully the stuff outside of it will take care of itself."
A trio of 11-win seasons and steady progression in the postseason has Luck in a position young signal callers dream about, yet rarely reach.
However, Luck still has that memory from this past winter and where he really wanted to be.
"I wish we could have taken care of business," Luck says of the Colts falling in the AFC Championship. "But that's sports. You win or you lose. That's part of the game and hopefully we can make it some day."