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Lions notes: Comparing the sudden retirements of Andrew Luck, Barry Sanders

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Comparing reactions to the retirements of two NFL legends.

Chicago Bears v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck shocked the NFL world when he suddenly retired in the middle of the team’s preseason game against the Cleveland Browns last week. While Luck was immediately booed by the fans at the Colts’ Lucas Oil Stadium, the overall reception from the media and fans afterwards was positive. Many were understanding of his decision and wished him well in future endeavors.

The response is remarkably different to the responses other NFL legends have received when choosing to suddenly walk away from football.

Former Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders received vitriol from many and was referred to as a quitter when he suddenly walked away from the game in 1999.

Ben Strauss of the Washington Post wrote about the discrepancy in reaction on Wednesday. He took a look at the way both local and national media responded to the respective stars retiring. Sanders was hated, while Luck was supported for the most part.

The discrepancy shows that the way the media treats players has improved over the years, though there are a few other factors—mainly HOW they retired—that had an effect as well.

  • The Rich Eisen show spoke to Sanders on Wednesday. The former running back disscussed the difference in reaction between him and Luck, and how he feels about the situation.

  • ESPN’s Michael Rothstien published a 53-man roster prediction on Wednesday as the team heads towards their final preseason game against the Browns. Chris Lacy, Beau Benzschawel and Mitchell Loewen are all notable inclusions.

  • NFL Matchup took a look at what teams managed to have the most and least three-and-out drives in 2018. Detroit did well getting the drive’s initial first down last season, as only 28.5 percent of their drives ended after three plays. This places them tenth in the league.