Every-Thing Sports

Hey Andrew Luck haters: Let people live their lives

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Life's a funny thing. We go about our daily tasks and never pause to think about things. More often than not, we rarely stop to smell the roses and appreciate everything. These days, we've become so task-oriented and focused that we forget what life is all about. Andrew Luck decided to do that and people got their panties all in a bunch over it. He's a 29 year old athlete who was seemingly on top of the world. He just won Comeback Player of the Year and led his team to the Divisional round of the playoffs last season. He's made upwards of $97 million dollars in his career thus far. Don't forget about his Bachelor's Degree in Architectural Design from Stanford. He got married earlier this year to his longtime girlfriend and recently announced they're expecting their first child.

While his retirement may come as a shock to many, it shouldn't. Other notable athletes have retired "prematurely" before Luck did. My guess is that the timing caused most of the kerfuffle. Was anyone this upset when Barry Sanders or Calvin Johnson left the Lions? To a much lesser extent, did anyone get upset when Royce White stepped away from the NBA? Adam LaRoche turned down $13 million dollars from the White Sox over an issue concerning his son. Did he catch as much flack as Luck? Here are a few common themes as to why guys leave the game early:

Money isn't a factor

Today's pro athletes are getting paid exponentially more than athletes have ever gotten paid. There are also tons more revenue streams for them outside of the sport in which they became famous for. Social media has abled them to build a brand for themselves to capitalize on their fame. The athletes of today have more than enough money and ways to make money.

Injury concerns

With the advancements in medical technology, athletes today have access to more information about their bodies and injuries than ever before. Knowing the depth of an injury and likelihood of it happening again or worsening can cause you to rethink things. Guys like Luck are fully aware of what's going on with their bodies and choose long-term health over short-term fame and glory. Patrick Willis did the same thing a few years ago when he retired from the 49ers. A nagging toe injury made him walk away from the game when he was still in his prime. Football players are typically the ones who this happens to.

Family

Like I mentioned earlier, Adam LaRoche turned down $13 million dollars from the White Sox over an issue with his son. Willis was the primary caregiver for his younger siblings. Luck just got married and has a kid on the way. Jrue Holiday of the Pelicans stepped away for a while to care for his wife who was battling cancer. Dereck Fisher once facilitated his way back to the Lakers from the Jazz because his daughter's medical treatments were in Los Angeles. These guys all chose family over the games they play for one reason or another. Female athletes have it tougher than men. They want families of their own, but often time have to miss significant portions of their careers to have babies. Serena Williams is trying to come back after having a baby, but is already almost twice the age of some of her competition.

More than a game

Some of these guys have a depth of personality that most of us don't. They have an ability to see the bigger picture of life and go wit their gut. Like it or not, Colin Kaepernick knew what he was getting himself into, but chose to do what he believed felt was necessary. Pat Tillman walked away from the NFL to serve in the Army and gave his life in the process. Myron Rolle was an All-American safety at Florida State who was drafted in the sixth round by the Titans. He was also a Rhodes Scholar that eventually chose academia over football and is now a neurosurgery resident at Harvard Medical School.

Sometimes we as fans can obsess over what athletes do. The booing of Luck after the game the other night was horsesh--. This man made a decision that's best for him and his family. So what if your football team sucks again! What about him living his life the way he sees fit? Sometimes we have to realize there's a person inside those lines wearing those uniforms. They have feelings and lives like the rest of us and deserve to live them the way they see fit. Many of them walk off the beaten path. People like that are generally smart, funny, and fun to be around. They should be apperciated and celebrated. I know because my little cousin Vincent who recently passed away was one of those people. Love them while they're here. Appreciate their athletic prowess while they play. One day, they could be gone and you'll never get a chance to do so again.

Saints 34, Bucs 17

Saints vs. Bucs 2: Good, bad and ugly

Getty Images

The Saints got back in the win column by dominating a lesser talented division rival this week. Here's what I thought of the Saints' move to 8-2:

The Good

-Michael Thomas and Drew Brees are perhaps the most prolific quarterback-wide receiver duo in the league. Brees was 28/35 for 228 yards and three touchdowns, while Thomas had eight catches for 114 yards and a touchdown. Thomas is still leading the league in receptions and yards, despite Brees missing a chunk of the season.

-The defense came up big depite giving up over 300 yards. They had two sacks, four interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), and limited the Bucs to only 36 yards rushing. After last week's performance against the Falcons, it was important for the defense to step up.

-Sean Payton made a concerted effort to get Alvin Kamara the ball. Whether it was rushing, receiving, or on returns, Kamara was heavily involved in the gameplan. 26 total touches for 155 yards altogether.

The Bad

-Giving up 313 yards passing to Jameis Winston and the Bucs was terrible. Sure Marson Lattimore was out this game, but this defense has too much talent to give up that many yards through the air.

-Speaking of giving up passing yards, Cameron Brate had 10 catches for 73 yards. Tight ends haven't really been a problem for the Saints, but it was today. Moving forward, they need to do better about giving up the easy stuff underneath, especially to tight ends.

-The longest run recorded was a 14-yarder by Kamara. The team only totaled 109 yards on the ground, which is uncharacteristic of them since they committed to the run more a few years ago. They are used to averaging upwards of 130 yards a game on the ground.

The Ugly

-I think it may be time to invest high picks on linebackers. The current linebackers on the roster are pretty good, but the only real playmaker is Demario Davis, who's already 30. Where's the young playmakers at linebacker? There are none. Hopefully Alex Anzalone can turn into something.

-As I mentioned earlier, Marshon Lattimore missed this game. Some of the guys that filled in lately, such as CJ Gardner-Johnson, have done an okay job at best. There's no replacing one of the better young cover corners in the game. Gardner-Johnson had a couple rookie mistakes, but looks like he'll be a player, just not yet.

-Speaking of young guys needing to step up, I sure hope Marcus Davenport removes himself from the back of the milk carton soon! When a team gives up the type of draft capital the Saints did to draft you, you have to produce. Far too often Davenport has been a no show in the stat column and on film. Two first round picks and a mid rounder were used to get him and he's so far playing like a fourth rounder.

Last week, the Saints were outplayed by a then 1-7 division rival. This week, they decided to dominate a 2-7 division rival. Brees and the gang returned to form against the Bucs and have a firm grip on the NFC South thanks to the Falcons dismantling of the Panthers, who the Saints play next week. If they win next week, they can wrap up the division crown and start taking aim at a first round bye in the playoffs. Here's to consistency and health down the stretch.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome