PSA: Let's maybe not rip Andrew Luck for retiring from football
Football fans are passionate people. They spend money on apparel, tickets, the NFL Sunday Ticket if they're out-of-market, food for parties and countless other things.
It's a spectacle. It has surpassed baseball as America's pastime. Football fans want to see their team win every week and will cheer as hard and as loud as they can for that result. But that passion can also bring about some real nastiness.
That nastiness was on full display in Indianapolis last Saturday night as Andrew Luck was booed off the field after fans found out he decided to retire from the NFL. With just a few weeks to go before the regular season kicks off, the timing of Luck's decision is not great. Colts fans have every right to be upset. They don't have the right to boo Luck, though.
If Andrew Luck was on the fence about the retirement thing, #Colts fans booing him the last time he's ever on the field as a member of the team probably convinced him he made the right decision.pic.twitter.com/JxkC7CjBU3
It's a terrible look for Indy's fan base when videos of the booing surfaced and viral within minutes. This is obviously not an indictment of the Colts' fan base as a whole, but those who took part in booing a guy who was a top-10 quarterback when healthy and played injured should stop watching sports.
That is the wrong kind of passion to have. I get it, you're upset your star quarterback won't be on the field ever again. You feel abandoned, betrayed, etc. But imagine how he feels. Luck's health was totally mismanaged for nearly his entire career. People forget athletes are people too. Luck has a family and has other interests outside of football. Why is he being ripped for this? If he lost his passion for football because of injuries, so what?
If Tom Brady retired like this, would you as a Patriots fan boo him for leaving you hanging? Or would you cheer and applaud him for everything he's given you? And before you tell me Brady has been a more successful quarterback than Luck, trust me when I say I'm well aware of this.
I don't care what the NFL used to be like. I don't care what someone's mentality used to be like. No one should ever be ridiculed for making a decision they think is in their best interest.
If Colts fans want to be mad at someone, be mad at the front office for the way Luck was handled. Blame Ryan Grigson especially. Blame Jim Irsay for being a pill-popping dipshit. Hell, blame Chuck Pagano if you want. Don't blame Andrew Luck for not wanting to go through the grind of another NFL season and not be able to enjoy his life outside of football.
People don't realize what athletes put themselves through on a weekly basis in order to go out there and make sure you get your money's worth. Watch even a few minutes of one of their workouts and you'll be thankful you work a desk job.
This warped perception of athletes may have to do with the media, which was largely receptive to Luck's retirement and commended him on a great career. But of course, some were not so kind.
Retiring cause rehabbing is “too hard” is the most millennial thing ever #AndrewLuck
Whether this is real or fake outrage is irrelevant. Fans look to the media for answers, not awful click-bait bullshit takes like these. These are the kinds of opinions that fuel dumb people's egos and gives them a voice.
Be better than that. Don't be an idiot. Use some common sense and put yourself in Luck's shoes.