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ESPN’s Adam Schefter shares a wild Andrew Luck retirement story: ‘What the hell is going on here?’

If you’re in the business of breaking news, you’re never really off the clock — even if it’s your mother-in-law’s birthday.

On Wednesday’s episode of The Ringer’s “Slow News Day,” Kevin Clark asked ESPN’s Adam Schefter to share his craziest scoop story. The veteran NFL reporter explained how a seemingly innocuous text message he received in August 2019 kicked off a wild evening.

“I was at my mother-in-law’s 75th surprise birthday dinner,” Schefter told Clark. “She walks in. Surprise! We sit down, and I get a text from somebody, ‘Are you free?’ Saturday night, August, season’s about to begin, I’m thinking, ‘Oh, man.’ I text back, I’m like, ‘Everything OK? I’m just at my mother-in-law’s surprise 75th birthday dinner. She just sat down.’ And the person just wanted to share some information.

“I said to the table, ‘Excuse me,’ and that was basically the last time they saw me the rest of the night. Andrew Luck retired that night, and I missed my mother-in-law’s 75th surprise birthday dinner.”

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Luck was a Pro Bowl quarterback in four of his six seasons with the Colts, but he battled through a number of injuries throughout his career, including a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder that caused him to miss the entire 2017 season. He chose to retire because he was stuck in “this cycle of injury, pain, rehab.”

As Schefter put it in his initial tweet, Luck was “mentally worn down, and now checking out.”

But the drama didn’t end there. Schefter got a call immediately after filing his story that momentarily made him doubt his own reporting.

“My phone rings, and it’s the former Colts backup quarterback and Andrew Luck’s good friend Matthew Hasselbeck,” Schefter told Clark. “And he said, ‘Did you report that Andrew Luck is retiring?’ And I said, ‘Yeah.’ And he said, ‘Are you sure?’ And I thought, ‘Oh, no. Am I sure?’ Well, I reported it, right? I usually don’t report things that I’m not sure of. And he said, ‘Well, I was just with him for the last two days in Indianapolis, and I didn’t know a single thing about him retiring.’

“My heart did drop into my stomach. Like, did I miss something? Did I get something wrong here? Was something lost in translation? Like, what the hell is going on here? And so, while you’re at the surprise 75th birthday dinner, now not only are you away from the table, but now you are emotionally a basket case. Like, what the hell is happening? Of course it turned out to be true, but Matthew Hasselbeck scared the crap out of me.”

Hopefully someone at the table at least saved Schefter a piece of cake.

You can watch Clark’s full interview with Schefter below. (The Luck story begins around the 6:20 mark.)

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