Andrew Luck is one of the classiest, most professional guys to have participated in the modern game of football. He has never been a me-first guy, rather he has always been a we-first guy. He was a team guy. When Luck came to the Indianapolis Colts as the number 1 overall pick in 2012, he had massive shoes to fill, Peyton Manning  had been arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history. Luck sacrificed his body for horribly built teams that didn’t protect him. But he went out and battled nonetheless to become a true leader, a captain, and a perennial all pro.  Andrew Luck gave everything he had to the game of football, the city of Indianapolis and the Colts franchise. Saturday night, in the middle of the Colts third preseason game, it was announced that Andrew Luck was retiring from football. It was a shock to everyone, including his teammates. The somewhat awkward part was that there was a game going on and Luck was on the field in practice clothes – not the usual retirement announcement setting. Still, it was time for Andrew Luck to go. He could no longer physically or mentally do what was required to compete at the highest level in a game that had given so much to him. So, he retired. How did Colts fan’s react that night in Indy? With boo’s. They booed Andrew Luck off the field as he walked from the sideline into the dressing room. The problem here isn’t the roughness of the NFL, the position the Colts are in without Luck or the timing of his announcement. It is the knee jerk mentality of people whose first instinct, all too often, is inherently selfish, self-centered and shallow. Be it Colts fans who booed Luck off the field or Raptors fans who cheered when Kevin Durant went down in the NBA finals, far too many people forget the human element of life when it isn’t their own life in discussion.  There is too much “what have you done for me lately” and too little gratitude and appreciation for the quality of the effort, even for the guy on the other team. Meanwhile, Luck’s teammates and peers have supported his decision whole-heartedly. Ty Hilton admits he still cries a bit everyday when he thinks about it. Coach Frank Reich, who took this job last year mainly for the opportunity to work with Andrew Luck, couldn’t have praised Luck more. The Colts chose not to recoup from Luck any of the $24+ million they could have, letting him keep the whole thing for his service to the franchise and the community. If the people around Luck, who are affected most by his decision, can react so genuinely with love and respect, why can’t the average fan? The NFL will miss Andrew Luck for all of his talent, personality and professionalism on and off the field. Indy fans likely would welcome a mulligan on how to better handle themselves in a moment of adversity, but they won’t need one from Andrew Luck.  He understands them and has probably already forgiven them. We wish Andrew Luck the best in his life after football.  We wish him a life of health, happiness, and fulfillment for the man who is an even better person than he was a quarterback and he was quite the quarterback.

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