Patterico's Pontifications


NFL Player Mocked For Retiring Due To Multiple Injuries, Unrelenting Pain And Never-Ending Rehab Work

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:40 pm

[guest post by Dana]

[Ed. I have no interest in the sport of football, nor do I have any opinion on various teams, rankings, etc. That is not the focus of this post.]

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck announced his retirement at age 29 from professional football, citing injuries, unrelenting pain and constant rehab as motivating his decision:

Luck called it a hard decision — “the hardest of my life,” he said — but it was also a clear one. He is only 29 years old, but football has wrecked his body and stolen his joy. Over the past four years, his injuries have been brutal and relentless: shoulder sprain, torn cartilage in the ribs, partially torn abdomen, lacerated kidney, concussion, torn labrum in his right shoulder and now the calf and ankle problem that hasn’t healed.

Luck has missed a season and a half of playing time because of injuries. He awoke one morning after a game and noticed blood in his urine. He lost the entire 2017 season because of a difficult recovery from shoulder surgery…

He was back, and so was Indianapolis, which felt it had put together a Super Bowl-caliber roster for this season. Then another injury made Luck reassess everything.

“For the last four years or so, I’ve been in this cycle of injury, pain, rehab — injury, pain rehab — and it’s been unceasing, unrelenting, both in-season and offseason,” Luck said Saturday night. “And I felt stuck in it, and the only way I see out is to no longer play football. It’s taken my joy of this game away.”


“I’ve been stuck in this process,” Luck said. “I haven’t been able to live the life I want to live. It’s taken the joy out of this game. After 2016 when I played in pain and wasn’t regularly able to practice, I made a vow I wouldn’t go down that path again. The only way forward is to remove myself from this cycle. I came to the proverbial fork in the road and made a vow if I ever did again, I would choose me, in a sense.”

Responding to Luck’s decision was Fox Sports Radio commentator Doug Gottlieb:

Wow. How the hell anyone can judge Luck for making a decision that might help break the vicious cycle of injury, unrelenting pain and rehab that he is currently stuck in? What kind of ghoul does one have to be to imply that someone is weak because they are saying enough is enough because they want to their body to be fully operational? Shaming someone for taking steps toward restoring their good health and repairing their damaged body is a terrible thing to do. And here’s the thing: we’re not talking about a situation where people’s very survival depend on Luck remaining in the NFL. For Christsake, let’s keep it in perspective: We’re talking about football. And if someone like Gottlieb thinks that Luck is obligated to voluntarily suffer for his entertainment, then Gottlieb reveals what a truly selfish bastard he is. My guess is that Gottlieb hasn’t suffered chronic injury and pain in his life, nor has he had to endure demanding, years-long rehab work. Most people won’t endure what Luck has. But there are many people who suffer unrelenting physical pain, and face the arduous task of continual rehab work. And not as a result of their own career-making decisions either. But if you asked them whether they would jump at any opportunity to be free of their suffering, do you really think they’re going to say “no”? Of course not. I have known that kind of consuming pain from similar injuries, and have known the endlessly exhausting work of physical rehab. Enduring that, day in and day out, is not an easy life. Especially in Luck’s case, where there there would be no end in sight to it if he continued to play professional football. And so my hat is off to Luck and his decision. He’s got an option to break the vicious cycle. He’d be a fool not to choose it. May God bring him his longed-for relief, and may he eventually not have to struggle to remember what it was like to live without injury and pain and rehab because he is once again experiencing life without it. There is the before, and there is the after, but being stuck in the middle of that long, dark tunnel is devastating. Thankfully, he’s now headed toward the light at the end of it. He made the smart decision.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


81 Responses to “NFL Player Mocked For Retiring Due To Multiple Injuries, Unrelenting Pain And Never-Ending Rehab Work”

  1. Good thing I held my fire.

    Dana (fdf131)

  2. Luck undoubtedly hurts and that is not good, plus he will probably suffer from his injuries for the rest of his life. But he is fortunate he played in an era when he could make enough money that he can retire young.

    DRJ (15874d)

  3. He is only 29 years old, but football has wrecked his body and stolen his joy.

    Isn’t this a damning indictment of professional football? Was he particularly sensitive, or is this common among players.

    Given this and the head injuries, why do young men want to play?

    Bored Lawyer (44d9c7)

  4. You play football, you hurt. Pain is part of the game.

    DRJ (15874d)

  5. You play football, you hurt. Pain is part of the game.

    Yeah, that’s right: it’s part of the game. He just doesn’t want to be part of the game that is destroying his body anymore. And why would he? He’s 29, he’s got his whole life ahead of him. Why spend it in crippling pain and hooked on pain killers.

    Dana (fdf131)

  6. It’s not just Gottlieb: a whole bunch of mindless talk radio idiots have spewed forth their hot take on how Andrew Luck has let down his team, let down his fans, let down the season ticket holders, is a wimp, doesn’t have enough heart to be a gladiator, and so on (quite literally) ad nauseam. It reminds me yet again why I have grown to hate the NFL, and why I would sooner listen to a recording of a baby screaming than listen to sports talk radio these days.

    Andrew Luck is an intelligent guy with a degree in architecture from Stanford and a fat bank account from his NFL career. He is also a newlywed, and he deserves a long and healthy life away from the pro football circus.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  7. And let’s be clear: not all hurt and pain is equal.

    Dana (fdf131)

  8. Maybe we should make a stink about Gottlieb’s pathetic pro career. Doug Baldwin has it right (and had to cut his career short because of knee problems).

    How dare Luck not sacrifice his body for MY entertainment. Who cares if your shoulder is too messed up to pick up your child. Who cares if your knees are too messed up to play with your kids. Who cares about the quality of YOUR life, what about the quality of MY Sunday’s?

    Paul Montagu (a2342d)

  9. JVW,

    Season ticket holders already volunteer for risk: they don’t know what will happen to any of their favorite players during the season. They might be killed in a traffic accident, they might be sidelined for the season from injury, they might … retire. It’s a gamble they have willingly accepted. Also, who the heck really believes that football players are “gladiators” or “warriors” or any of the other ridiculous pet names. They aren’t running into burning buildings to save lives, they aren’t sacrificing themselves on the battlefield where enemies are trying to kill them. They are participating in a sport that is a multi-billion dollar industry that

    Dana (fdf131)

  10. Paul Montagu,

    No idea who Doug Baldwin was til I just googled him, but nice to see him be likeminded and see him push back at Luck’s critics with wise words.

    Dana (fdf131)

  11. Doug Baldwin was his team mate at Stanford

    I had a situation where a several severe sports injuries coupled with a manual labor heavy job resulted in a three level cervical fusion surgery…. 30 years after the original injury. The original injury resulted in two reconstructive surgeries followed by another twenty years later when the failure of one of the originals finally got unbearable. Then there was the cervical fusion just a few months ago
    I used to have to take 1/2 a percocet to work out with weights, another afterwards. I’d do the same before and after a bike ride. I had surgeries on both shoulders, my eye. my face, both knees injections in my neck with three displaced and arthritic vertebrae. Rehab was hell because it hurt and until I had the fusion, the pain after rehab was unbearable without opioids.
    My physical therapist told me I was “stoic” and had one of the highest pain threshholds he’d seen.
    Sometimes I’d spend the weekend “resting”. I’d try not to get addicted to the pain pills by using large quantities of over the counter pain meds mixed with alcohol.

    From my point of view Andrew Luck is doing the right thing. Its his body, he has the money, its his time to move on to the next phase of his life.

    steveg (354706)

  12. Captain Andrew Luck’s farewell tweet.

    Dearest Mother,
    I write you today with sorrow overtaking the men, the city and my heart. Though the drilling and squirrel oil has healed my sidearm, the constant battles have taken its toll. After dealing with a broken wheel and the torment war has taken (1/2)
    on my mind, I’ve decided it’s best for me and the men that I come home. My only hope is that the men will carry us on to victory in this war, but today, no amount of squirrel oil and goat innards can help me carry on. (2/2)
    @CaptAndrewLuck #Re2pect

    Paul Montagu (a2342d)

  13. If anyone in the league shows non-millennial tendencies it would be Mr. Luck. Last I heard he still had a flip phone.

    mg (8cbc69)

  14. I know people who have hard jobs that wear down their bodies. They have to do those jobs to support themselves and their families, and they do them without complaint. Luck is fortunate he has other options. I don’t blame him for his choice. It is the smart choice. Not everyone has that option.

    DRJ (15874d)

  15. 3. It’s a damning indictment of professional football and sports journalism. The only person in this debacle that seems to have a lick of sense is Andrew Luck himself.

    Gryph (08c844)

  16. 14. Worth noting, he had the option of ending up like L.T., Alex Karras, or Lyle Alzado. For as badass as those guys were back in the day, what I remember about them the most (I was born in ’78) is how much they regretted as washed-up broken-down old men.

    Gryph (08c844)

  17. Luck had other options in his life but he chose football. Maybe he liked the sport itself, the fame or the quick money. A lot of professional sports players don’t have job prospects that could get them anywhere near the money they earn.

    DRJ (15874d)

  18. Steveg,

    My sympathies for the pain you’ve endured. I totally relate. Last week, I took a relative to the ER because he was experiencing withdrawals from a pain med (pharmacy hasn’t filled scrip yet) . He had a total lumbar fused and apparently a nerve got trapped. His pain is 24/7 and he has developed a two-year dependency on Oxy, Ativan and a host of other prescribed drugs that get released around-the-clock into his system via a pump inserted into his side. His quality of life is minimal as a result. He would do anything to not be in this position. In light of Luck, who has so much ahead of him, why further jeopardize his future quality of life to please others? It’s his life, not theirs. Maybe this speaks more to how sports figures are unreasonably revered in our society, and the ridiculous expectations placed on them.

    Dana (fdf131)

  19. The only person in this debacle that seems to have a lick of sense is Andrew Luck himself.

    Do you really think this? It sounds like you think deciding to quit football is a good idea but not deciding to play football. In fact, it sounds like most people here feel that way.

    DRJ (15874d)

  20. I love hockey players that get a few stitches and then return to the ice. Bull riders and rodeo bullfighters too. Soldiers that fight through grievous wounds. Having toughness when things don’t go your way is an admirable trait.
    Makes sense from an evolutionary stand point as well.
    What I do not understand is the selfishness of fans who want a person to endure more pain than they have the capacity for, as if it is the product of some kind of character deficit… for “24M dollars you better damn well play, boy”

    Here is the youtube of a NHL gladiator would died young due to overdose… he could not find it in himself bring himself to say “no more” to his sport.
    Andrew Luck seems better educated, better equipped, better paid than Boogard (the kid in the video linked) and I’m glad for him. Hopefully he has a great career in architecture, or in whatever he finally settles into.

    steveg (354706)

  21. I suspect that young men who decide to play football never think about what might befall them in any real serious terms. They just know that they love the game, they have a drive to win, they want to make it to the big time and make bank, and they are, as it goes with most young men, invincible in their own eyes. Ultimately, they don’t yet know their limitations either.

    Dana (fdf131)

  22. Andrew Luck was fortunate to play a sport he loved at its highest level.
    He learned more about planning, decisionmaking, management, people skills etc in the crucible of the game by 29 years of age than he’d have learned at that same age in the corporate world.

    I love the kids that join the military and volunteer for the combat arms, I love the kids that play sports. Part of that love needs be be respectful of their limits. They’ve already overachieved, the least I can do is be respectful of their timeframe and to defend them from anyone who calls them quitter. Any disappointment I might feel is my problem

    steveg (354706)

  23. The outrage mob performs daily eviscerations. Good luck to Luck in the future.

    Colonel Haiku (1aa46f)

  24. Tough Luck? To some, apparently not.

    Takes brains to know when to quit this punishing professional business; a clubby, entertainment enterprise that’s become a virtual monopoly for a wealthy few; with gladiatorial arenas financed virtually on demand with tax dollars under the guise of civic pride; lucrative revenue streams from media and merchandising and the kind of contractual control that eats up the stage players faster than the Hollywood studio system ever did.

    One of the wiser ways to keep them ‘smarts’ is to know when to cash in and quit. Ol’ Steeler ‘Iron Mike’ Webster could tell you all about it— except he’s dead, as are more and more of his colleagues- due to CTE brain damage inflicted pursuing ‘the sporting life.’ Yes, it takes brains to be a winner and know when to walk away from a losing game– especially when you still can walk.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  25. Luck was unlucky to have been drafted by the Colts, a team that never had a good offensive line or running attack, so the bullseye was on him, and he got the snot beat out of him a LOT, undeservedly. When he wasn’t out with injury, he carried that team, almost taking them to Superbowl had Brady not cheated by deflating his balls.

    Paul Montagu (a2342d)

  26. Speaking of deflating balls, after a day at the beach, I sat down and had a cold beer.
    The day was cool and really quite beautiful, and the drink facilitated some deep thinking.

    My wife walked by and asked me what I was doing………and I said, “Nothing.” The reason I said “nothing” instead of saying “just thinking” is because she then would have asked, “About what?”

    At that point I would have had to explain that men are deep thinkers about various topics, which would lead to rolling of eyes and other questions.

    Finally I pondered an age old question: Is giving birth more painful than getting kicked in the nuts?

    Women always maintain that giving birth is way more painful than a guy getting kicked in the nuts, but how could they know?

    Well, after another beer, and some more heavy deductive thinking, I have come up with an answer to that question.

    Getting kicked in the nuts is more painful than having a baby, and even though I obviously couldn’t really know, here is the reason for my conclusion:

    A year or so after giving birth, a woman will often say, “It might be nice to have another child.”

    But you have never heard a guy say, “You know, I think I would like another kick in the nuts.”

    Colonel Haiku (1aa46f)

  27. @6. Agree 100%.

    ‘Gridiron Greed’ has wrecked it. I don’t watch it anymore– and I come from a family w/a grandfather who worked closely w/t Art Rooney Steelers of old and a father who, at one point in his life, due to the unique location of the cable system master antenna, had four TV sets set up around his house over a weekend to watch the regional NFL games from different network affiliates in different cities. Then came the weekend chaser- Cosell, Meredith and Gifford on Monday Night Football. “I’ve never seen that before!” was the only conversation heard for three days.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  28. 19. I’m not a football-obsessed superfan. I don’t really watch NFL football at all (and only college ball when I’m at someone else’s house who is). I think it’s every individual’s right to engage in whatever activities might harm them, as long as they do so with informed consent.

    At what point did I say anything that sounded or looked like “He shouldn’t have been playing football at all?” Real freedom means the freedom to do things I might not choose for myself.

    Gryph (08c844)

  29. Didn’t some other famous guy once say something like:

    “At a certain point, you’ve made enough money” ?

    jim2 (a5dc71)

  30. They have to do those jobs to support themselves and their families, and they do them without complaint.

    Yeah, it’s interesting. You wonder if you could rewind the clock to Luck’s senior year at Stanford and tell him that he’ll play six season, go to the Pro Bowl four times, never get past the divisional round in the playoffs, have a pretty battered and bruised body at age 29, yet have a whole lot of money in the bank, would he say “OK, let’s do it!” He probably would, and why shouldn’t he? But I hope he isn’t one of those guys who is plagued with a sore body the rest of his life. As a Stanford football legend, he probably could have easily found a job in the Silicon Valley venture capital world had he chosen to hang it up after his final college game.

    Anyway, I hope more guys get out when they first start to sense that their body can’t continue to hold up under the strain. It’s so sad seeing these players from the 60s and 70s who can’t really even walk, or are badly hunched over, or have completely arthritic hands. Since guys these days get paid so much more, I hope they are smart enough to make their bundle and leave on their own terms.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  31. Luck was unlucky to have been drafted by the Colts, a team that never had a good offensive line or running attack, so the bullseye was on him, and he got the snot beat out of him a LOT, undeservedly.

    There was a story up last night on the Sports Illustrated website from a couple of years ago about how the Colts were ruining Andrew Luck’s career by encouraging him push through injuries in order to keep playing, even when he didn’t have solid supporting players around him. It sort of foreshadowed what happened this past weekend by suggesting that they might burn him out too quickly. It’s not up on their homepage or their NFL homepage any longer, but it might be linked from within one of the articles they have published on the topic.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  32. Comrades, this is capitalist sports media you are talking about. They sell Doritos and Bud Lite when he play; now they have one last chance to sell Doritos and Bud Lite when he retire. Is all it is.

    You talk about how Comrade Luck decide to go and play football and get hurt and show buns in tight spandex to millions of people in order to put bread on table, roof over head, and Lamborghini in garage. What you think Comrade Gottlieb is do when he attack Comrade Luck? Same thing.

    nk (dbc370)

  33. JVW,

    That sounds like a Monday Morning Quarterback article. I’m wondering if it is this one.

    Xmas (eafb47)

  34. That one is similar, but I think the one I saw predated that one by some months, before he had started last year’s comeback.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  35. They sell Doritos and Bud Lite when he play; now they have one last chance to sell Doritos and Bud Lite when he retire. Is all it is.

    You know, among the positive aspects of this is that active NFL players (and I think the same goes for the other major sports leagues) are prohibited from being pitchmen for alcoholic beverages. Now that he is retired, Luck can start shilling for beer companies just like Peyton Manning does and John Elway did before him.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  36. His Dad has many business interests, including in sports. I envision them doing things together.

    DRJ (15874d)

  37. Jimmy Piersall once choked a sports writer over something he had written about him. (I guess now they’re “sports commentator?”) But it’s a commensal relationship. The sports media make the players famous and they make their own living from doing it.

    nk (dbc370)

  38. @32. Comrade; scouting report: Russians play soccer; Cubans play baseball. See October, 1962 for details.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  39. If Andrew Luck decides to walk away from the NFL at 29 years old, then that’s OK as far as I’m concerned. (Not that it really is any of my concern.) It’s his life, and it’s his body. He can do what he wants with both.

    I will add, though, that I think it’s pretty bush-league to quit your team two weeks before their opening game. I would have a higher opinion of Luck if he had waited until the end of the season, or if he had reached this decision several months ago.

    Demosthenes (7fae81)

  40. I was going to disagree, Demosthenes, but Luck’s backup is Jacoby Brissett, who won’t come close to filling Luck’s shoes. He should’ve hinted his intentions before the draft.

    Paul Montagu (273a63)

  41. @41. ‘I think it’s pretty bush-league two weeks before their opening game…’

    What’s the difference? He could be injured and out for the season in game one. He loses; an NFL franchise never does; they simply replace him– but don’t repair his lost health. Better to quit in mid-season and stick it to the fans and your teammates– right?! Just like Lou Gehrig.

    Luck has brains– and he used them before some 260 lb., lineman scrambled them for him.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  42. It’s Mr. Luck life, body and – his choice.

    Here is a look at Jim Otto, who chose not to leave early.

    Injuries and operations

    Otto’s body was punished greatly during his NFL career, resulting in nearly 74 operations, including 28 on his knee (nine of them during his playing career) and multiple joint replacements. His joints became riddled with arthritis, and he developed debilitating back and neck problems.[2] In his book, “The Pain of Glory” Otto described near death experiences from medical procedures, including fighting off three life-threatening infections due to complications from his artificial joints. During one six-month stretch, he was without a right knee joint because he had to wait for an infection to heal before another artificial knee could be implanted. Otto eventually had to have his right leg amputated on August 1, 2007.[3] Despite his maladies, Otto says he has no regrets and wouldn’t change a thing even if given the opportunity to do it over again. He discussed his sports injuries as well as the concussions issue in a 2013 Frontline interview for “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis”.[4]

    Here is a link FRONTLINE’s League of Denial – The NFL’s Concussion Crisis. Originally aired October 8, 2013.

    If you have not seen it – DO. It is well worth your time.

    Choice, like consent, should be made fully informed, intelligently and voluntarily.

    Often times, though choices are made in the moment with clouded and ulterior motives and
    outside influences and pressures. And later upon reflection … GLZ.

    Gary L. Zerman (a1521c)

  43. Luck made the correct choice. As he would never beat T.B. 12

    mg (8cbc69)

  44. he carried that team, almost taking them to Superbowl had Brady not cheated by deflating his balls.

    The score of that game was 45 – 7. The idea that the psi in the footballs was the difference in that game is ridiculous. There was zero evidence that Brady did anything wrong. Just speculation that more likely than not he would know if the balls had psi taken out of them. But the whole thing was a witch hunt. 21 professors at 10 different universities concluded “there is no scientific proof of wrongdoing.” the loss of air pressure in the footballs occurred naturally.

    Mattsky (55d339)

  45. DCSCA,

    The difference is that his teammates and the team need a good QB to succeed so their livelihoods are impacted by this, too. Andrew Luck is a standout QB even with his injuries, which is why he was paid so much. Good QBs like that are not easily replaceable (especially at this point in the season). If they were, there would be a half-dozen of them on every team and they wouldn’t be paid so much.

    DRJ (15874d)

  46. I don’t blame Luck.

    The dude played with a lacerated kidney. Far as I’m concerned, it’s none of our business.

    whembly (51f28e)

  47. The score of that game was 45 – 7.

    I was waiting for someone to pipe up. Yeah, the Colts never had a chance. But then, Tom Brady’s deflated balls might’ve made a difference in the previous game against the Ravens, who they barely beat with a game-winning touchdown pass. It could’ve been Colts v. Ravens.

    Paul Montagu (a2342d)

  48. I can’t fault him for retiring, and I have nothing but contempt for people who attack him over that. The point that the decision could have been made sooner is valid, but we don’t know how he’s feeling.

    Time123 (66d88c)

  49. He should’ve hinted his intentions before the draft.

    How can we be sure that he didn’t inform Colts management of his intentions earlier?

    Further, at the time of the draft, Luck may have thought he’d be physically sound by the time the season started, only to find in recent weeks that his body had taken too much damage to heal properly. We really don’t know what went on in the months leading to his announcement.

    I don’t fault his timing, because there are too many unknowns here.

    Chuck Bartowski (bc1c71)

  50. JVW: There was a story up last night on the Sports Illustrated website from a couple of years ago about how the Colts were ruining Andrew Luck’s career by encouraging him push through injuries in order to keep playing, even when he didn’t have solid supporting players around him. It sort of foreshadowed what happened this past weekend by suggesting that they might burn him out too quickly.

    I didn’t read that article but I agree with the sentiment, and initially I wondered if that had something to do with Luck’s timing here.

    He should’ve hinted his intentions before the draft.

    I generally agree but Luck and the Colts have already agreed that Luck won’t have to repay his signing bonuses, which makes me think the team has known about this for awhile. I also suspect this decision means Luck will not blame the team for his early retirement.

    DRJ (15874d)

  51. Jim Otto owned a Burger King near my folks’ house. I saw him struggle to get around.

    Sounds like Luck pushed himself as far as he could go and then realized he could go no further.

    Best of luck(!) to him.

    harkin (58d012)

  52. How can we be sure that he didn’t inform Colts management of his intentions earlier?

    Because they didn’t draft a QB in the early rounds. Had they known, you’d think they would’ve picked a rookie to back up Bissett. But I don’t really blame Luck for the timing. It’s really hard to consistently play at that high level, and you have to be mentally ready as much as physically.

    Paul Montagu (a2342d)

  53. That’s a good point, Paul. Wasn’t the draft in late April? If Luck was thinking about retiring after the season, he should have told the team then but their draft choices aren’t proof that he didn’t. It could be proof that management doesn’t make smart choices or had more pressing needs. Or maybe management figured Luck’s retirement would give them a pass from the fans for awhile.

    DRJ (15874d)

  54. @ DCSCA, #43:

    Better to quit in mid-season and stick it to the fans and your teammates– right?! Just like Lou Gehrig.

    Unless Andrew Luck is dead in two years from a terminal illness that he has right now, this rebuttal manages to be as irrelevant as it is tasteless.

    He’s had an injury-prone career. I’m sure he is hurting, and as I said, I have no problem with him deciding to stop playing. But the proper time to do that was well before the current season started, or after it is over.

    And I’m not saying he owes it to his club…because, as we all know, NFL franchises essentially think of their employees as discardable pieces of meat. Even the prime rib goes bad after a while. But if I were one of his teammates, I would be furious right now. And I’m sure some of them are.

    Demosthenes (3c3acf)

  55. 47. C’mon, DRJ. There’s no shortage of good quarterbacks; they’re born every day– some are even sitting around waiting for a call– like Colin Kaepernick.

    It’s no different from any other business. Everyone is expendable. It’s up to management to cough up the cash and hire staff w/depth. Luck could be injured and out in the first play of the first game in which case, the back-up replaces him and the organization plays on. But Luck loses his health, no matter what. If Trump collapses face down in his bowl of Fruit Loops, Pence suits up and takes the field. If the Colts– or any other going concern, aren’t prepared for that, that’s just poor management.

    No tears for the deep-pockets of any NFL franchise. Luck made the right call.

    Colin Kaepernick is available for work.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  56. @56. Beg your pardon? It’s a perfect rebuttal to your reach of a post. Lou Gehrig quit in mid-season because he was under performing and concerned about his health condition- so beat him up for doing so and stiffing the Yankees an the fans?? No. Nor does Luck rate it either. Luck is obligated to the organization he is contracted to by the provisions of that contract.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  57. @54. Poor management is a weak excuse in any organization.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  58. 56. That’s between Luck and his teammates. Considering what a lousy franchise they were with Luck, I think Luck owes them precisely s**t.

    Gryph (08c844)

  59. @48. Thing is, as long as they operate using taxpayer financed stadiums and facilities, it is partly ‘our business’– or in this case, the taxpayers in Indy.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  60. Survival of the fittest, DCSCA? Nothing else matters.

    DRJ (15874d)

  61. 53. Life is hard. It’s harder when you’ve spent a good chunk of your adult life treating your cerebral cortex like Grandma’s mashed potatoes at the Thanksgiving dinner table, and your joints like poultry bones.

    Gryph (08c844)

  62. Luck says he has only been thinking about this decision for two weeks. That seems like a short time for such a big decision.

    DRJ (15874d)

  63. 64. What that tells me is that it was an easy decision for him to the point of being a no-brainer (pun intended).

    Gryph (08c844)

  64. @62. Conservatives call it ‘free-market capitalism.’ 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  65. Easy from a health standpoint and nothing else mattered? Usually people try to consider the impact of retirement on family and finances, and their job.

    But maybe he did and that’s why the team was able to decide about the signing bonus payout. Still, preseasonmis not when most teams or players handle retirement issues unless they suffer an injury in preseason. It seems a bit odd.

    DRJ (15874d)

  66. He injured something in his calf during off-season training. It was visible in an MRI, so it’s not like he was being a hypochondriac. He wasn’t able to practice during pre-season as the injury didn’t get better and caused him a lot of pain when he went full speed.

    They were hopeful that he might be able to start the season opener on September 8, it was only a hope.

    Here’s a breakdown of his most recent injury history. This story is from last week, *before* he announced his retirement.

    (It’s an sad indication of what was going on that when I Googled “Andrew Luck Injury Timeline” I got pages from 2015, 2017 and 2019…)

    Dave (1bb933)

  67. 67. Worst case scenario is, he’ll have to find a career that doesn’t involve playing a brutally violent game for a living. It’s good that he made that decision now, rather than becoming the next Alex Karras. Or Lyle Alzado.

    Gryph (08c844)

  68. Chatter about ‘loyalty’ to fans is a bit dubious as well. No doubt the citizens of Baltimore would have some strong words about that regarding the Colts and their middle of the night move to Indy. Just as the good folks in San Diego told the Chargers to go ahead and take a hike to LA when management demanded a new skybox-filled, $2 billion stadium be built for the NFL franchise at taxpayer’s expense.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  69. 70. It’s “loyalty” to the almighty dollar. Period. Full stop. End of story.

    Gryph (08c844)

  70. @ DCSCA, #58:

    My post was not a reach. And your “rebuttal” is far from perfect.

    If Andrew Luck wants to quit, then again, that’s his decision. But it is not an unreasonable position to say the timing is bad. Leave your team in the spring or summer, and let them try to replace you. Or stick out the year, and then retire. I said NOTHING there that is a reach. And while we’re on the subject — though I didn’t say this earlier — I think that everyone here who is piling on the fans for having an emotional reaction, in the moment, to something they care about, is not thinking that position through. You can say it’s irrational, but then again, so is being a sports fan. “Fan” is short for “fanatic,” after all, no? Unbelievably, I have to defer to Stephen A. Smith, who is absolutely 100% right on this topic:

    And Lou Gehrig is not like Andrew Luck. First, Gehrig DIDN’T QUIT MIDSEASON. He remained on the Yankees roster for the rest of the year, and even his manager was convinced at first that his self-benching would be temporary…leaving it up to Gehrig to determine when he would return. Second, Gehrig had just played in 2,130 consecutive games — they didn’t call him the “Iron Horse” for nothing. Luck has missed abut 40% of his team’s games (26 of 64) over the last four seasons. Finally, and I don’t know if this escaped you, but the only reason Gehrig benched himself was because he could no longer continue to maintain a major-league standard of play due to HAVING A CRIPPLING DISEASE THAT EVENTUALLY KILLED HIM. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I do not think Andrew Luck is retiring for the same reason…he just seems ready to walk away from the whole thing. So, again, your comparison is as offensive as it is irrelevant. And I’m sorry if you object to that phrase, but I stand by it.

    None of this is a slight against Luck. I’m not calling him a weakling, or a wimp, or anything like that. I’m not saying he wasn’t an elite-level NFL talent. And if he doesn’t want to play anymore, he probably shouldn’t play anymore. The NFL is a high-risk game, and I bear no one any ill will if they think that the possible harm they might suffer outweighs the benefits. But I also don’t blame anyone who considers this dirty pool.

    Demosthenes (7fae81)

  71. @72. Except it is. A perfect rebuttal.

    By your own post, you stated it was ‘irrelevant and tasteless.’ It was not; quite the contrary. Luck quit because after several seasons of health issues. Gehrig quit- literall pulled himself from the roster mid-season and never played another game because his health was failing at a time when he had no idea why he was ill but knew he was under performing. Who are you to decide what is the ‘proper time’ for Luck, Gehrig or other personnel to quit? If you ‘were one of his teammates’ you would not be furious at Luck–as you posted– but wish him well and be grateful to know he recognized he wasn’t going to risk further injury to himself–and possibly you and others by under-performing- as well as impairing the organizations fortunes- by showing up for work and not giving 100%– which is exactly what Gehrig recognized and did.

    Neither man deserves or earned any kind of criticism from the public peanut gallery or incredibly idiotic radio talk show hosts for making a wise decision in favor of not risking permanent damage to their health.

    And FYI, the NFL isn’t a ‘high risk game.’ It is a profit driven, business enterprise and good department management- you may know them as ‘teams’- would minimize any degradation in output due to personnel changes through injury, accident or death. Seems Department Colts lack that in the front office.

    Luck made the right business decision within the bounds of his contractual obligations just as Gehrig did.

    Plenty of talent out there: Colin Kaepernick is still waiting by the phone.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  72. @DCSCA, #73:

    Who are you to decide what is the ‘proper time’ for Luck, Gehrig or other personnel to quit?

    Why, nobody at all, of course. I am quite literally no one of consequence. But I have the right to an opinion on the subject, just the same as anyone else, including you.

    If you ‘were one of his teammates’ you would not be furious at Luck–as you posted– but wish him well…

    Who are you to tell me what my feelings would be?


    There’s not much point in responding to anything else you said after that, is there? It’s really just window dressing. We could go round and round about semantics, like we have several times before. Those discussions will break down to differences in values and perspectives, some of which may be reconcilable, some of which almost certainly won’t be. I’ll say something. You’ll gainsay me. And eventually, I’ll get bored of the conversation and go elsewhere.

    That’s fine, up to a point. If I say “These are the facts,“ it is perfectly legitimate for you to respond “No, these are the facts.“ If I say “This is the value people should hold,“ it is perfectly legitimate for you to respond “No, this is the value people should hold.” But it stops being okay when I say something like “This is what I believe,” and your response is “No, this is what you believe.” And a variant of that just happened, whether you see it or not.

    So, in a weird way, I have to thank you for saying what you did. You’ve just saved me a lot of time in the future. I consider myself relieved of the obligation to treat you as a serious interlocutor.

    Demosthenes (7fae81)

  73. @74. A PBS News Hour segment this evening on this issue affirmed my position on Luck’s rationale for quitting which dovetails w/t same rationale employed by Gehrig at the time.

    ‘Nuff said.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  74. That’s nice, DCSCA.

    Demosthenes (7fae81)

  75. Kaepernick will never be the QB for the Colts. As a resident of Indy, I see a lot of validity in a lot of the positions taken here. His quality of life has been diminished before he is 30. He’s made bank. The timing is beyond awful. I suspect that the most current injury either got worse, or he endured an additional injury during rehab. The Grigson/ Pagano years of mismanagement did him no favors. Nor did his own toughness playing through injuries. I hate to see him go. Great guy. And after the Suck for Luck campaign, I’ll need to come up with a snappy slogan for the Colts to go 1-15 and draft the young QB from Clemson.

    JD (734fdd)

  76. Gottlieb’s Fox Sports colleague, Troy Aikman, took him to the woodshed

    JD (734fdd)

  77. It was undoubtedly a extremely difficult decision. Despite the Colts generosity, he had I think 3 seasons left on his contract that paid 22 million dollars a year. Fortunately he has already earned around 100 milliion while with the Colts. I suspect that the part about walking away from something that he had such a passion for, was so dynamic at, and something he has likely devoted a majority of his life to, it is hard to walk away. Just look at athletes that retire and then try to comeback.

    JD (734fdd)

  78. Conspiratorialists are already thinking Luck sits until Brady retires and ol’ Bill gets him to come back and play for the Pat’s. Bellichick has been known to say that of the quarterbacks he has actually seen, Bert Jones was his ideal (another top of drsft big wide shouldered hard thrower who left the game at about 32 after several injury plagued seasons)

    urbanleftbehind (ec9038)

  79. Here’s a sad story of an NFL player’s health issues and the price he and his wife have paid…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

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