On August 24th, the sports world, particularly football fans, were left in shock when it was announced that Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was going to retire from the National Football League at just 29 years old. While Luck wasn’t the first star football player to retire at such a young age in his prime, this retirement seemed more surprising than when Rob Gronwkowski or Calvin Johnson retired.
While it was surprising when Johnson and Gronkowski retired, it also made sense because they are position players, and they usually take more hits to the body then the quarterback does. Specifically, the quarterback has an offensive line protecting him, whereas position players do not. However, Andrew Luck wasn’t very fortunate because the Colts offensive line struggled for the many years he was there and were consistently ranked as one of the worst teams in the league until last year when they drafted two highly rated offensive linemen.
Despite the newly improved offensive line, the pain was too much for Andrew Luck. His body was badly beaten up from all the sacks he has been taking the past years. The injuries Luck has endured throughout his seven year career includes having a lacerated kidney and a partially torn abdominal muscle.
Andrew Luck had finally had enough of constantly getting injured and being in pain. According to Colts Owner Jim Irsay, Luck would have made almost “500 million” dollars had he not retired. Luck didn’t care that he was missing out on that much money because his body was telling him it was enough.
While he only played for seven years, Luck accomplished as much as anybody could have in that amount of time. He won four Pro Bowls, the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award and helped lead the Colts to the second largest comeback in NFL history when they played the Chiefs in the 2013 AFC Championship game. Luck gave everything he had to the game, only to get booed by Colts fans when they got the news he was retiring.
The story of Andrew Luck’s retirement brings up an important question. Is playing in the NFL worth it, if you have to go through so much pain only to get booed by your own fans when it’s all done?