It was one thing to hear Doug Gottlieb criticize Andrew Luck for his sudden retirement, but to hear a former Pro Bowl quarterback do the same thing? Now that’s surprising.
Not long after Luck made one of the most surprising announcements in NFL history, social media and the rest of the sports universe reacted. While most of the reaction was positive, there were some negative outpouring such as the ones from Indianapolis Colts fans — and most notably, Fox Sports analyst Doug Gottlieb.
But Colts fans and Gottlieb weren’t the only ones who decided to take aim at the 29-year-old quarterback. In fact, 17-year NFL veteran and current CBS Sports commentator Steve Beuerlein blasted Luck for his abrupt retirement, taking issue with doing so just two weeks before the 2019 NFL season was due to start.
While Beuerlein didn’t come as crass as Gottlieb did during the latter’s own tweet, it is obviously a criticism of Luck for deciding to retire now rather than earlier in the offseason when the Colts could have prepared for such a move.
Andrew Luck Doesn’t Owe Anyone Anything
Here is the problem with Beuerlein’s reasoning: While it is true that Luck’s decision to retire comes at a time when the franchise can’t exactly adapt and adjust — they’ll go with backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett as the starter moving forward — you can’t force a guy who is physically and mentally spent to continue playing the most violent sport out there.
If anything, it would be a disservice to the team if Luck were to play without his heart being in the game. As ridiculous as it may sound, the Colts are better off with a guy who actually is physically and mentally ready (Brissett) rather than a guy who just doesn’t have his head in the game anymore (Luck).
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Luck attributed the constant injuries for taking his love away from the game. The four-time Pro Bowler had a recent ankle injury after going through a debilitating rehab process from a serious shoulder injury that wiped away his entire 2017 season.
Via Mike Wells of ESPN:
“I’ve been stuck in this process,” Luck said, stopping several times to gather his emotions. “I haven’t been able to live the life I want to live. It’s taken the joy out of this game … the only way forward for me is to remove myself from football.
“This is not an easy decision. It’s the hardest decision of my life. But it is the right decision for me.”
Troy Aikman Backs Andrew Luck’s Decision
Although one former quarterback was critical of Luck’s decision to retire, Beuerlein’s former Dallas Cowboys teammate — Troy Aikman — went in the opposite direction, fully supporting and defending Luck’s decision to retire. Aikman actually called out Gottlieb for his take on the situation.
Considering Beuerlein played 17 long years in the NFL — with his career actually ending due to injury — one would think that he would understand better than anybody what Luck is going through.
It would seem that even though Luck is making the best decision for his own life, you just can’t please everybody.
Follow D.J. Siddiqi on Twitter @DJSiddiqi