Okay, so unless you’ve been enhaling canned yams in some bomb shelter, you’ve probably heard Andrew Luck retired on Saturday…
It was arguably the most shocking retirement announcement since Barry Sanders, so naturally, the Internet exploded. You literally couldn’t commit a single new feed thumb swipe without seeing some dickhead journalist/talking head/irrelevant fan recklessly blasting out their condemnation.
On top of that, Colts fans actually booed Luck as he exited Lucas Oil, which I wholeheartedly can’t criticize them for. If you’re attending that game, you most likely were a.) pretty upset; b.) unaware of Luck’s justification; and c.) drunk as all fuck. That’s a recipe for regrettable behavior if I’ve ever seen it so I won’t throw stones.
However, those who do deserve a rock to the head are pretentious hacks like Doug Gottlieb who choose to rip people for situations they know nothing about.
Here’s the deal: Being a professional athlete is a pretty sweet gig. I mean, it’s technically a part-time job where millions of fans adore you, the compensation is laughable, and nearly all of your living expenses—food, healthcare, travel—are covered as well. Not to mention, women will literally fuck you simply because you exist.
So yeah, there are tons of instances where athletes don’t understand how good they have it because, quite frankly, most have never lived on the outside.
Nowadays, these kids are given shoe deals before they can walk; they don’t know what it’s like to drool over an Excel spreadsheet for 50 hours/week in order to keep the lights on. Oh, your company doesn’t allow you to protest on their watch? Try having to operate under that same policy standard, only without a yacht…
That said, we can’t just pretend these players aren’t grappling with one of the most precarious risk/reward spectrums on Earth. For those who disagree, feel free to show me the percentage of tax consultants who experience life-altering brain degeneration due to repeated 1040 Forms to the head…
Simply put, injuries are a part of sports and, when you sign that dotted line, you agree to that principle; however, when the risk begins to outweigh the reward, we’re talking about someone’s physical/mental wellbeing.
If there was ever an instance where that notion should’ve clicked, it was during Rob Gronkowski’s press conference yesterday when he struggled to fight back tears during his explanation of why he ultimately retired.
Unlike Luck’s presser, this was a guy who had confirmed his decision to hang up the cleats months ago; furthermore, a guy who, for nearly a decade, has established himself as one of the most authentic individuals the NFL has ever seen.
There have been countless times where I’ve questioned when Gronk’s personality and “antics” would become tiresome. In the end, it never happened, and the reason for that was because it was all real.
Gronk is just a perpetually fun-loving guy who just lived, slept, and breathed football; he’s the NFL’s golden retriever, which is why watching him hold back tears as he admitted “Football was bringing me down” and “I was losing that joy in life” just hit different.
Long story short, I’m not here to suggest pro athletes can’t be spoiled, pretentious, remarkably selfish humans; I’m just saying they’re humans. Act accordingly…
– Joey Boats (@joey_boats)