Andrew Luck, donning a gray Colts t-shirt, shorts and no hat, made his way down the sideline at Lucas Oil Stadium Saturday night during Indianapolis’ preseason matchup against the Bears
As he approached the locker room tunnel, Colts fans shifted their focus from the game to Luck. They cupped their hands around their mouths and proceeded to boo their former quarterback because of his decision to retire from the NFL just two weeks before the regular season begins.
And sure, I’d be a little ticked off too if my favorite team’s quarterback — who just last year was in the MVP conversation and led the team to the second round of the playoffs — retired out of nowhere, after the offseason when my team could have made some moves to replace him.
I understand why they’re angry, confused, sad, whatever they may be. But what I don’t understand is how those people can sit there all high and mighty and boo a man who’s been so good to the game of football, while the game of football hasn’t been so good to him.
It’s not like Luck wanted this to happen. He didn’t want to leave his team high and dry just a few weeks away from what looked like could be a special season in Indianapolis. He just simply did what was best for his health, both physically and mentally.
“For the last four years or so, I’ve been in this cycle of injury, pain, rehab, injury pain rehab,” Luck said in a press conference. “And it’s been unceasing and unrelenting both in-season and the offseason… It’s taken my joy of this game away.”
After finishing that last, powerful sentence, Luck paused and stared down in disbelief. It’s a decision he’s been mulling over for quite some time now, and that little kid inside of him that fell in love with football can’t believe that’s no longer the case.
It’s safe to assume this is the hardest decision Luck has ever had to make in his 29 years, but ultimately, he did what he knew deep down was right.
They say everyone plays until they’re unable or until they don’t love it anymore. And for Luck, unfortunately, it was both.
Those same people that booed Luck, I ask you this: How would you feel if people booed you for leaving a job that made you miserable, even if you were a key cog to your company’s success?
At some point, we all have to take a step back, look at our lives and make some selfish decisions. Luck has never been a selfish player or man, and has been one of the classiest guys since he came into the League.
He made this decision for him, and only him. Luck doesn’t want to continue to wear down his body, and he doesn’t want that to continue to take a toll mentally.
We must respect and understand his decision to retire, because, let’s face it: We would all probably do the same thing.