Walking Away

When I heard the news over the weekend that Andrew Luck was retiring, one thought came directly to mind: Good for him.

Well played, Andrew Luck. Enjoy retirement.

Why stay? Why continue to do something that is wreaking havoc on yourself both mentally and physically? That he is able to easily walk away at 29 years old with his body still healthy and his pockets still loaded is an accomplishment 99% of the work force will never experience.

Perhaps that is why Luck was booed after leaving the field on Saturday night. Was it just pure jealousy? To retire before turning 30 is a luxury all of us would like (or would have liked) to have. Or, perhaps the people who heckled the quarterback simply did so because of what it might mean for the chances of their team. But honestly, check your priorities if you are so wrapped up in an NFL franchise or a fantasy team that you need to boo someone who is doing what is best for his family.

I put the situation in perspective by thinking about it from my own career perspective. If I was working at a university led by an under 40 rock star president who brought the institution to new heights only to unexpectedly retire, I couldn’t hold it against him/her. Stress is intense for top administrators in higher education and even though it would be a huge loss, you got to respect that the person did what was right for them and their family.

By walking away from the game, I think Andrew Luck showed that Stanford really does produce geniuses. I wish him the best in retirement and hope he makes the most out of an opportunity many of us will only dream of having. Don’t Blink.