I have a suggestion for those people who booed Andrew Luck when they learned the Indianapolis quarterback planned to announce his early retirement from the NFL.
How about you suit up and play a down?
It will take you roughly a dozen years of preparation, if you start with Pop Warner. Every year you play, you’ll have to work harder.
You’ll need a tremendous amount of natural ability, the kind of work ethic that gets you out of bed before dawn to lift weights on cold winter mornings when no one but your teammates are watching, some skilled coaching and a commitment to a lifestyle with deceptively little wiggle room.
The higher you climb up the ranks, the more visible you’ll be so you’d better learn to say excuse me every time you sneeze.
You’re going to hurt. Of course you’ll hurt. Your muscles will groan from overuse and you’ll develop bruises under your pads from all the hitting and getting hit that happens as a matter of course.
And all those seasons, all those ice packs, pep talks, muscle cramps, exhilarating wins and demoralizing losses are going to lead to that one down you’ll get to play in an NFL stadium.
You’ll be all pumped up. You may even look for your family in the stands.
You’ll maneuver yourself into your stance, wait for the count and then WHAM! You’ll get hit so hard you won’t be able to breath for a minute and you’ll find yourself face down on the turf, tufts of dirt and grass sticking out of your helmet.
You’ll wobble back up to your feet, shake your head a little, run a quick check for any serious injury, and then you’re going to take your stance and do it all over again.
As much as that hit hurt, it’s going to be even worse the following day, and your muscles will be even sorer by day three.
And this will be your life through a four-game preseason, 12-game regular season and, if you’re lucky, all four games in the postseason. Counting the bye weeks, you’ll be battering your body for 22 straight weeks.
Now, try doing all of that with a serious injury and thinking about the potential for that injury to become a lifelong disability as you try to work your way back on the field.
And you’re going to boo the guy who has been putting himself through that grind for the past seven years because he has, with maturity and class, decided to retire from a game he loves?
I read that some Colts’ season ticket holders are asking for a refund in light of Luck’s announcement. While this request defies logic (are you going to pay a bonus when a mediocre player on your team has an unexpectedly stellar year?) I hope the Indianapolis front office complies and opens up those tickets for purchase by real fans. Then, I hope the boobirds never attend another NFL game.
Andrew Luck gave Indianapolis his best self for as long as he could.
It’s too bad some Colts fans couldn’t muster up the same.