29-year-old Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck stunned the NFL world Saturday night when he announced he was retiring from the game. Luck, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2012 draft by the Indianapolis Colts, was a seven-year veteran and was entering his fourth season on a six-year extension worth just over $139 million. He earned more than $100 million in his career, and…won absolutely nothing of note. This is a non-story that has been turned into the most twisted tale of heroism I’ve seen in recent times.
To be clear, Luck did not retire, as a dozen-or-so other young players have done recently over the hysteria and junk science of CTE as caused by football injuries. And yet, as those players were, Luck has been called “heroic, brave, smart,” and other glowing terms he is not deserving of. Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott tweeted that he “understood,” and had much “respect.” Barf.
Luck retired because he’s a baby, period. He essentially admitted as much, but of course, it is, instead, packaged into a positive story of endlessly trying to overcome hurdles and obstacles and having enough sense to know when to stop fighting. Cool. Apparently, the time to stop fighting is after you’ve pocketed $100 million delivering none of the promises your potential made.
Luck blamed the “mental stress,” of trying to overcome a series of injuries since 2015.
Jesus, what a stereotypical millennial. Thank you, Andrew, for being yet another high profile 20-something to perpetuate the belief that your entire generation is nothing but snowflakes.
No one would intelligently argue that it’s no longer the NFL of 1986 when 49ers Linebacker Ronnie Lott famously broke his pinky finger in April. Rather than having surgery, which would have required an extensive healing process in which he would miss games early that season, he had the pinky cut-off. Amputated it for the game he loved. Andrew Luck reminds us that we are running out of Lotts; not just in the NFL, but in America.
I’m not suggesting that Luck’s multiple physical problems, primarily with his throwing shoulder, weren’t legitimate. What’s beyond pathetic is his mental weakness, particularly when paired with the endless fawning over what an amazing icon he apparently is.
Luck, since he first entered the NFL has, admittedly, been a mystery to me. The Stanford graduate can barely complete a coherent, audible sentence, yet we’ve heard nothing other than how brilliant he is. Despite a very mediocre career QB rating of 89, and a 4-4 postseason record with no Super Bowl appearances, we were constantly told he was an elite quarterback. Names not nearly as heralded, such as Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, and Nick Foles have achieved so much more, and yet Luck is such a loss to the NFL. Please. He’s a weakling.
The very last time Luck walked off the field of Lucas Oil Stadium Saturday night, Colts fans pelted him with a chorus of boos as they reacted to the news that he would be stepping away from the NFL. This, of course, is being regarded as a disgusting display of poor sportsmanship. I am not one to defend sports fans and their endless asinine behavior, but this is not an example of such. For 7 seasons Colts fans have been told that they had their quarterback of the now and the future and that he was oh-so-talented. For 3 season, they patiently waited for him to recover fully from his injuries, only to see him return and have an excellent (by his standards) 2018 season; which ended with yet another injury, and now, after a summer of being told THIS was their year, Colts fans find out that their leader is a quitter. Of course they boo-ed him and they should have. Andrew Luck is officially a bust; a waste of a first-round draft pick, but in today’s mushy, feel-good culture it will instead be written that his body betrayed him and the immensely violent game he plays got the best of this warrior. Gag me.
Dan Dakich, who hosts “The Dan Dakich Show” on WFNI in Indianapolis, is the only person I’ve seen who publicly holds a similar view and, since he’s at ground zero, his comments got noticed immediately, and were of course instantly derided as cruel. Luck revealed in his announcement he’s had these thoughts for almost 4 years…meaning he signed his current contract extension, banking most of his career earnings while playing less than at anytime in his career, knowing he was mentally wavering on playing football. Somehow, some people have turned Luck’s admitted inability to handle the stress of recovery into a mental health issue, like this genius who criticized Dakich; “You should be ashamed of yourself, sir. There are people you love struggling with their mental health right now.” Does the phrase “grow up,” come to mind?
Luck is pathetic, to be sure, but his worshipers and defenders are worse. And sadly, about the only people who seem to agree with that obvious sentiment is Mr. Dakich and, I’m pretty sure every Fantasy Football owner who drafted him.