This past NFL offseason was loaded with surprising moves, like Odell Beckham Jr. packing his bags for Cleveland, Le’veon Bell forgoing his long vacation to sign with the New York Jets, and Landon Collins signing a massive deal with the Washington Redskins. But no acquisition turned heads like the announcement made by Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts, leaving football fans speechless. Here are some of the 42Fifty staff’s opinions on Luck’s departure from the league.
Lizzy Sorensen, Sports Co-Editor
Upon retiring from the NFL, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has faced mixed reactions from spectators worldwide. The NFL community reacted with clear respect and sympathy for the decisions of the battered QB; however, some fans spoke out with resentment and anger.
Dez Bryant, a wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints, who tore his ACL in November 2018, connected to Luck’s decision to retire like many NFL players.
“Andrew luck I understand you 100% brotha… take your time… I wish you the best,” Bryant said in a tweet.
When sharing what prompted his decision to walk away from the game, Luck made it clear that his love for the game was not what changed.
“I’m in pain; I’m still in pain. It’s been four years of this pain, rehab cycle,” Luck stated in his press conference.
Luck decided to do what was best for his personal health and shouldn’t be criticized for putting himself first. The news broke the night that the Indianapolis Colts faced off against the Chicago Bears in a pre-season match-up, and fans responded by booing Luck off the field. By doing so, fans displayed an appalling lack of respect for the QB who gave up his health and time for the team.
While some have criticized Luck for delivering the news just two weeks before the season kickoff, I see his announcement as better late than never. Of course, knowing earlier would’ve been beneficial for the team moving forward, but life-altering decisions like this take time. Retiring now is significantly better for the team than sitting on the injured reserve and collecting paychecks, before retiring later in the season. Andrew Luck’s decision was a beneficial move for his mental and physical health that should be received with respect and understanding by both fans and athletes.
Michael Klein, Staff Writer
Andrew Luck’s decision to retire was hard but in the end it was the right one.
During the press conference Luck said, “This is not an easy decision. Honestly, it’s the hardest decision of my life. But it is the right decision for me. While leaving the stadium, many Colts fans at Lucas-Oil Stadium booed Luck. Luck admitted that he heard the boos by saying, “It hurt. I’ll be honest. It hurt.”
Luck has had a great career despite all of the heat he is getting. He was selected number one overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. He has lead the Colts to the playoffs the four years he was healthy and has a 4-4 (0.500%) playoff record. His total win-loss record is 53-33 (0.623%) and has made the Pro Bowl four times. He holds many of the Colts franchise records and some NFL records. His career unfortunately ended too soon, but I think this is the right move for him. He has had so many injuries and it is hard for a player to be in rehab and not playing the game. This is Luck’s decision about his life, and I feel the Colts fans who booed are being insensitive because he got this team to where they are today.
Some of Luck’s former teammates weighed in on the news, including future hall of famer Reggie Wayne. The former Colts receiver said, “He came in and gave me new hope. He really did.” Colts owner Jim Irsay, also had something to say including his optimism for Luck to return to the Colts.
Irsay stated, “You know, I don’t rule it out because as quickly as this thing sort of descended on us, and as mysterious as it was coming upon us, it could leave the same way.” Irsay seems to be optimistic that Luck will return, but Luck himself opposed the idea of a potential return when he said, “I can’t see the future, but I very clearly in my mind see that I won’t.”
Luck has dealt with a great deal of injuries in his seven-year career. The former No. 1 overall pick had a healthy career until 2015. Prior to that, he had three healthy full seasons for the colts. In those three seasons, he was selected to the pro bowl all three times. Then in 2015, he suffered a sprained shoulder, lacerated kidney, and partially torn his abdominal muscle. These injuries sidelined him for nine of the 16 games. In 2016, he was only out for one game due to concussion. But after the 2016 season, Luck reportedly had some trouble with his shoulder. He underwent surgery and this had him placed on injured reserve, effectively ending his 2017 season before it even started. With this track record of injuries I think anyone would retire, but Luck did comeback in 2018 and win the 2018 NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
Ryan Lemerman, Staff Writer
The night was young, and I was watching a movie with my friend Steve Watts, another Oswego High School student, when he got a phone-call from one of our other friends. In a proper manner, he declined the call, which only led to my confusion about the interruption. Relieving my curiosity, I checked my phone, only to stumble upon upon three notifications, highlighting: “Andrew Luck Retires.” Getting the exact same alert, Steve, who is an Indianapolis Colts fan and Andrew Luck superfan, was heartbroken and puzzled, along with football fans across the nation on the night of Aug. 24, 2019.
Many look at Andrew Luck’s goodbye from the professional world of football on a spectrum of hatred to respect. We’ve seen many franchise players stick with their original day one team, like Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, and Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, and we sort of expected this kind of situation with Luck and the Colts, amid his five-year, $140 million deal.
Looking back on his injury history, Luck suffered torn cartilage in two ribs, a torn abdomen, a lacerated kidney, multiple concussions, a torn labrum, and an ankle injury, over the course of just seven NFL seasons. Instead of booing Luck off the field, fans should imagine what it was like to be in the 29-year-old’s shoes.
His affectionate personality never reflected selfishness, seen through compliments like, “Nice hit big man” to the opposing team when getting a sack on him.
“I never looked at it like it was me or the team,” Luck stated in an interview. “I’m part of the team, and I do my best for the team, and also do the best for myself.” This former MVP candidate deserves the respect he earned, because he’s maintained nothing but a 100% work ethic. Rather unexpected, Andrew Luck sends out the valuable message that health is greater than wealth.
When news broke, other top quarterbacks took the time to express their thoughts on social media. Last year’s Most Valuable Player Patrick Mahomes wrote, “knowing , he’s a great football player but he’s also a great human being. I haven’t seen the full (scope) of the news but I know he’s going to make the right decision for himself and his family.” Then, Houston Texans franchise player Deshaun Watson took time to relate to Luck, suffering a torn ACL in November 2017. The division rival typed, “it was mind-blowing. It was something that of course caught everyone off-guard. But, hey, he can control his own future. He’s a great player. He’s a great quarterback. One of the top five quarterbacks in the league. And he’s doing it for the right reasons. For himself.”
While the team looks for brighter days ahead, I think it is observably fair to call Jacoby Brissett a top-three backup QB in the NFL. As he’s been in this position before, Luck was “very jealous and resentful of this fun, happy dude” that would start in his spot when Luck was injured.