Booing should always be a part of sports

Yahoo Sports
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/players/25711/" data-ylk="slk:Andrew Luck">Andrew Luck</a> announces his retirement from the NFL. (AP)
Andrew Luck announces his retirement from the NFL. (AP)

[This is an excerpt from the Yahoo Sports’ Read and React Newsletter. Subscribe here]

Good morning!

So the hot topic in our office Monday in the wake of Andrew Luck’s retirement: Were Colts fans wrong to boo him as he walked off the field Saturday night?

The debate went something like this:

“That’s classless. Dude gets to make his own decisions.”

“Give ‘em a break. They’re fans watching the fourth quarter of a preseason game. They’re either diehard, hammered or both.”

“You’re free to boo, but you’re also free to be criticized.”

My take: You don’t want to boo the guy for a few reasons, chief among them: what if he decides to come back? But that’s a measured take for a Monday morning, after you’ve had time to digest it all and, possibly, to sober up. But it’s not a take for the moment.

In the moment, when you’ve got a No. 12 Luck jersey on your back and you’ve just re-upped your season tickets for six grand and you’re forking over five bills for a stupid preseason game where you’ve spent another $150 on beer, food and parking, and the dude who holds your Super Bowl hopes (which were extremely high!) is walking off the field for good, taking those hopes with him … I get it.

Given the benefit of time, having heard Luck talk about why he’s retiring now, maybe they’d respond differently, maybe even apologize for booing. But who wants fans “measured” all the time? Measured fans don’t paint their faces. Measured fans don’t show up to parking lots five hours before games with a charcoal grill and a folding table they plan on destroying with a WWE-style top-rope drop. Measured fans don’t take off their shirts when the wind chill is 15 below.

There’s nothing wrong with the measured fan, but they aren’t the reason QBs are paid $35 million a year, why there’s even an NFL preseason or why websites like ours have readers.

So I say thanks to the unmeasured fans amongst us. Your passion runs deep, sometimes spilling over and causing a mess. But I’ll take that occasional mess over a well-behaved church congregation, an undertaker’s convention, or a Marlins home crowd.

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