Anyone who has followed my blog for awhile knows that I don’t like football. I attended a Big Ten school, and stayed in my room during all the home games. What I know about football could fit in a thimble. How much I care about football could barely fill an eye dropper. And yet, I am interested in the human beings who risk their health and sanity to perform in this game. That is why I believe that booing Andrew Luck after his resignation from the NFL was wrong..
While not categorized as such, I’ve always seen football as a blood sport. No, carnage isn’t officially the point of the game, but it certainly involves a lot of mental and physical pain for the “gladiators” in helmets and cleats. What is the mentality of spectators who enjoy watching men suffer? I’ll leave that to psychiatrists and other mental health experts to explain.
The morning papers here in Indiana were full of stories about Andrew Luck’s startling, unexpected early retirement. Some writers blasted him for his “disloyalty,” and the poor timing of his announcement just before the season starts. Others defended his right to live his own life. No one questioned the fact that he had suffered multiple injuries throughout his short and spectacular career.
What did the angry fans want? What if he had decided to become a drug addict in order to deal with his pain? What if he suffered a concussion or injury that left him paralyzed for life? Would that have satisfied the bloodthirsty fans?
Yes, the timing was bad. But who can know what is in another person’s heart? Perhaps he planned to work through the pain, but woke up one day and knew he couldn’t take it anymore. It may have taken more courage to retire than to take a slew of opioids and go on. Certainly, he willingly gave up millions of dollars in future income in favor of leading a normal life.
Luck and his wife, Nicole, were married in March, and expecting their first baby soon. I wish them happiness in the years to come, and applaud his decision to chose family over fame and fortune.