Luck's Retirement Creates Discussion On Safety Of NFL Players
Andrew Luck's surprise retirement means the NFL is losing a "marquee player," and it makes for a "very difficult" situation for the league, according to the Dallas Morning News' Tim Cowlishaw. It is "bad enough as it is" to have a player of Luck's status retire so young, but "guys make a lot of money" and have more flexibility since they "make it quickly." L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke called Luck's retirement "terrible" for the NFL. In "no other sport" would a player "walk away from the game because it’s too violent, walk away because it’s too bad for his health." ESPN’s Clinton Yates: "This is bad for the league, not just in the context of the talent loss of Luck, but in terms of how they’re presenting what’s really happening here. ... Your logic is flawed if you're the NFL and you’re trying to imply that there's anything wrong with this" ("Around The Horn," ESPN2, 8/26). ESPN’s Dan Le Batard said Luck’s retirement “seems to be more of an indictment of the game than him” (“Highly Questionable,” ESPN2, 8/26). In Pittsburgh, Ron Cook writes the NFL will "survive without Luck," it just "won’t be quite as much fun" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 8/27).
PAINFUL GAME: In Miami, Greg Cote writes Luck got out of the NFL "in time and on" his terms. Cote: "Maybe before the physical toll turned permanent. Maybe before too many concussions began to take ownership of your brain, your ability to function" (MIAMI HERALD, 8/27). In S.F., Ann Killion writes it is "not a complete surprise that Luck is the most recent NFL player to say 'enough.'" He did it in order to "value a quality of life going forward" and to "put a stop to the endless cycle of pain and injury." It should be "very disturbing news for the NFL." The "pain of this game is real" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 8/27). In Providence, Kevin McNamara writes these are "different times in football," as "no one knows how many concussions are one too many" (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 8/27). In Tampa, Martin Fennelly writes football is a "brutal game," and he will be "surprised if it’s around by the middle of this century" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 8/27).
WON'T BE THE LAST: In DC, Adam Kilgore notes no active players "accused Luck of anything but making a sound decision." It "seems certain" that Luck will "not be the last surprise retirement" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/27). ESPN’s Bomani Jones said, "There is something to ask about whether or not this is a harbinger of the way that other guys are going to handle this. ... I don’t think he’s going to be the last guy who does this (“High Noon,” ESPN2, 8/26). The Athletic’s Frank Isola noted players are "becoming more educated in what their post-careers are going to be like when they take all these hits" (“Around The Horn,” ESPN2, 8/26). Author John Feinstein said there “isn’t any doubt about” the idea NFL players are weighing their options more about safety (“NewsHour,” PBS, 8/26). A Springfield REPUBLICAN editorial states the impact of injuries in football moving forward will "still be there, greater than ever." Luck has "made his choice." It will not be surprising "if more players look at this decision and wonder if it should also be theirs" (Springfield REPUBLICAN, 8/27).
LUCK'S MENTALITY: In DC, Deron Snyder writes Luck is now in a "better place physically, mentally and emotionally" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 8/27). In Indianapolis, Jenny Green writes when Luck "stopped loving football, it was over." His departure "might have felt sudden and unexpected to fans, but Luck telegraphed it all the way" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 8/27). In St. Louis, Ben Frederickson writes the "game Luck loves is what's haunting him." It "has been for years" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 8/27). In N.Y., Dennis Young writes under the header, "Andrew Luck Is The Future Of Football" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/27).
OWE IT TO THE FANS? YAHOO SPORTS' Charles Robinson Luck's retirement has "invited questions among the ticket-buying faithful" about the Colts' handling of the situation. It is fair to ask if Colts Owner Jim Irsay should "be kind to Luck," who made nearly $100M for playing in 94 NFL games, but then "remain blind and deaf to the complaints of fans who helped subsidize those paychecks?" Robinson: "Probably not. Especially at a time when the NFL is marketing itself as a full-blown form of entertainment." Whether it is "opening a refund window for those who want to bail on their purchase or offering some breaks on concessions or parking or merchandise, Irsay could give something of value back" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 8/26).