In an emotional press conference held on August 24, 2019, Andrew Luck announced his retirement from the NFL. This is why his decision makes so much sense.
Andrew luck’s retirement seemingly came out of the blue for Colts fans, and NFL fans in general, many of whom (myself included) have come to expect players to endure hell for the sake of getting on that field.
But when it comes down to it, injuries are a horrible reality that come with the territory of contact sports. And none of us can deny that what Luck has undergone in recent years has been nothing short of grueling.
According to CBS Sports, Andrew Luck’s total injury count since being drafted by the Colts is as follows:
- A sprained shoulder in September 2015
- A lacerated kidney and partially torn ab muscle in November 2015
- Torn rib cartilage in November 2016
- A concussion in November 2016
- Shoulder wear and tear that required surgery in January 2017
- Calf strain in March 2019
The point is that any reasonable person would have thoughts of retirement after all of that.
For as much as anyone loves any sport, there always comes a time of reckoning when you realize that your body is one of the most precious gifts you have on this earth. And when it comes down to it, you have to protect yourself.
Though I haven’t gone through nearly the amount of injuries as Andrew Luck, as a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner I understand where he’s coming from.
I love Jiu-Jitsu. I love it with all my heart, and I think it is the most effective form of self-defense in the world. But as my injuries have piled up, I have been forced to contemplate pros vs cons for the first time in my career.
The facts are that I have had to take multiple trips to the doctor’s office at this point. My arms are both permanently damaged at both my elbow joints and I’ve also broken two fingers and a wrist — not to mention the head trauma I’ve encountered from repeated takedowns and clashes on the mat.
At this point, I’ve had to ask myself, it is worth destroying my body for this sport? To be honest, I haven’t come to a conclusion yet. But it is a real, grown-up question I am wrestling with these days.
It is very similar with football. Those athletes are injured All. The. Time. Follow closely and you’ll see that many of them are playing through injuries all season long. It’s gotten to the point where locker rooms have come to define the words hurt and injured as two different classifications: hurt = pain, and injury = something that can’t be effectively played through.
These athletes are in constant pain, and in Andrew Luck’s case, the scale tipped and the pros of football and his love of the game was displaced by a survivalist instinct that we all have as human beings: to protect ourselves and to live a healthy life — over anything.
He made the right call for himself, and he deserves the very best. We may not have seen the last of him yet, but for now, we say farewell, #12. Congrats on an incredible career.