Sports Fans | Please Don't Cheer For Laundry


Andrew Luck retired at the age of 29.

The background is as follows.  Andrew Luck spent almost two-plus years trying to overcome very challenging injuries to his shoulder.  He did so successfully, coming back in 2018 and having a strong comeback season. During training camp for the 2019 season, new injuries surfaced that he didn’t feel he was going to be able to overcome.  As a result, he made the decision to retire from professional football.

Prior to his formal retirement announcement, the Colts were playing an NFL preseason game.  During the game, the word leaked that Luck was likely to announce his intention to retire. Luck, on the sidelines in street clothes at the conclusion of the game, walked off the field to boos from the woolly ruminants mouth breathing in the stands.  

Luck getting booed walking off the field.

Luck getting booed walking off the field.

Leading me to exclaim, ‘Behold! The morons that cheer for laundry.’  

The old saw has it, that fans can do what they want.  That is more or less true. However, we can call these fans muppets.  And not the good Jim Henson kind. More like the discombobulated muppets your aunt made at home and put under the Christmas tree. Requiring you, upon opening, to channel your inner Streep and feign excitement, interest and appreciation all at the same time.  

These Colt dolts cheer for their team regardless of who gets plugged into the jersey and they expect the players in them to be loyal to that specific 50/50 poly-cotton blend and colour combination.  Kevin Durant now of the Brooklyn Nets discussed his feelings about Oklahoma after his departure to Golden State. It’s fascinating because clearly despite being active in the community, he feels as though he was viewed as a vessel for fancy laundry:

Durant remains bitter because he feels that “venomous” emotion toward him, despite charitable contributions he made to the community, still lingers. “Such a venomous toxic feeling when I walked into that arena [after joining the Warriors],” Durant told the WSJ. “And just the organization, the trainers and equipment managers, those dudes is pissed off at me? Ain’t talking to me? I’m like, ‘Yo, this is where we going with this? Because I left a team and went to play with another team?’ “I’ll never be attached to that city again because of that. I eventually wanted to come back to that city and be part of that community and organization, but I don’t trust nobody there. That s--- must have been fake, what they was doing. The organization, the GM, I ain’t talked to none of those people, even had a nice exchange with those people, since I left.”

Here is something very few people truly understand about being a professional athlete; it is an all-consuming profession and it is shockingly brief.   Athletes, in order to be successful, must completely alter their lifestyles, relationships and approaches to everything from business, to grocery shopping to educating their kids.   Athletes must make massive sacrifices related to personal interests and development and agree to balance their lives on a knife-edge for the duration of their sports career. Athletes know injury, a trade, a new coach or a general manager feeling a little pressure to win can murder their pro sports dream like a nightmare on Elm Street.

Dreams end.

Dreams end.

In other words, athletes need to be all in.  How many of the laundry lovers in Indianapolis have to be truly all in to drive truck or market soap?  In the professional sports world a bad quarter, period, or game and the dream runs into Freddy’s knife gloves. According to Gallup 18% of workers are ‘actively disengaged’ at work. This is defined as;

‘…employees who aren’t just unhappy at work; they’re busy acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers undermine what their engaged coworkers accomplish.’ 

That sounds like fun to be around.

Good luck trying that for an extended period of time in a pro sports environment.  However, there are people who do that for years in a corporate context. In the real world, you can float.  In sport, you can’t.

My point is this.  Andrew Luck gave everything to the Colts, was recognized as an unbelievable athlete and apparently made magic happen playing behind a typically weak offensive line (I don’t pretend to know anything about football, but I gather this is common knowledge - the year he was seriously injured in 2016 the Colts  O-line was ranked 28th in the league) but decided to move on with his life.  He couldn’t be all in any more. If an athlete wants to hang on and squeeze every ounce of athleticism and revenue from his/her body; power to them.  If they want to retire; power to them.  

In a work environment where choices for athletes are deliberately and strategically limited as a standard operating procedure, athletes who understand they have them should be celebrated.  Athletes are more than laundry. To the addlepated Colts booers, I leave you with a slightly modified quote from a movie you may have watched, if it didn’t go over your head..

“What you have just [done] is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever [witnessed]. Everyone in this [stadium] is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

From Billy Madison

Not the smartest man alive.

Not the smartest man alive.