Marcus Atilius Regulus, meet Andrew Luck
Hello my fellow NFL fans,
I am about to do what I disdain. Namely, jump on the public bandwagon and weigh in on the latest public scandal: The retirement of Andrew Luck.
Actually, it’s not Andrew that I am weighing in on, it’s us, the fans. No, it’s not Colts fans that I am addressing. After all, they are no different than the rest of us who follow our respective teams.
I ask this question: Why would we (yes, including Colts fans) condemn (ie 'boo') someone for having the audacity to retire, following 7 years of constant bludgeoning by 300+ lb defensive linemen, which he endured on behalf of his team, their fans (and yes, a few million dollars)? The reason, I think, runs both deep and ancient.
Erin Andrews, meet St Paul
Were St Paul at Lucas Oil Stadium that night and had Erin Andrews interviewed him, the interview might have gone something like this:
Erin: (booing in the background, covering one ear) Why are they booing Andrew, Paul?
St Paul: It doesn't surprise me at all, Erin. Reminds me of the way they treated Marcus Atilius Regulus, in the Roman Coliseum.
Erin: Marcus Atillius Re....who, what!?
St Paul: Marcus Atilius Regulus. The reason many boo-ed Marcus Atilius Regulus.... and the reason we boo Andrew now, is because we worship him.
St Paul: The reason we boo our heroes is because we worship our heroes.
Erin: Seems backwards to this reporter (glancing sideways)
St Paul: Think 'big picture,' Erin. In the beginning, the human race effectively ran-away-from-home, deciding that life would be more enjoyable on our own terms, without our Maker.
Erin: (anxiously looking around for someone else to interview) On our own, you say?
St Paul: Yes. As a consequence, we had to create something to fill the divine void, so, 'we worshiped and served creatures rather than our creator.’
Erin: But that doesn't explain why we boo Andrew Luck...
St Paul: Oh, it does. When we look to created things (in this case, Andrew Luck), to assuage our shame, making us feel secure and significant, we effectively turn the Andrew Lucks of this world, into saviors.
Erin: Saviors? (uneasy laugh) Since when are football players saviors?
St Paul: Since we decided to depend upon them to feel better about ourselves. The better Andrew does....the more the Colts win. The more the Colts win, the better we fans feel about ourselves. Winning is like a drug and Andrew is a critical ingredient of the drug we crave.
Erin: Wow, from football players to saviors to drugs, in one interview. No small feat, that... (pleading with her eyes to go to break)
St Paul: The victory drug is a temporary fix, to be sure, but momentary relief is, after all, better than no relief at all, or at least so we think....
Erin: I could use some relief (tugs on her ear). Well, isn't that interesting.... This is Erin Andrews reporting from....
St Paul (blithely continuing) ....and so off we go, desperate, looking for a new fix: A new hero to make us feel like we're 'somebody.'
Fans in the Background: 'Damn you, Andrew Luck! We coulda had Nick Foles?!'
Fades to Black
Enter: (Image of a man shaving with a slight 'I got life under control' smirk while the following voice over ensues:) “Gillette has always wanted men to be the best they can be and these days that’s about so much more than simply looking good on the outside. It’s about looking inside and figuring out what kind of man you want to be."
All the best,
The Daniel Foundation