Doug Gottlieb defends his Andrew Luck tweet

Nick Friar
August 26, 2019 - 7:00 am
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Following the news of Andrew Luck’s retirement, almost anyone on Twitter who had an opinion on the matter was either shaming Colts fans for booing the newly retired quarterback or patting Luck on the back for doing what he believes is best for him.

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Though there were a few exceptions.

Alongside the upset fans were those who felt the need to call out the now-ex-Colts quarterback. Which is exactly where Doug Gottlieb of Fox Sports enters the fray. Again, he wasn’t the only one going against the grain, but he certainly came up with one of the more polarizing takes, tweeting the following:

This may be the first time I’ve ever encountered this type of criticism about a millennial in my life. Have to give it to Gottlieb, he’s really creative.

But it seems some in the sports world felt differently:

In all seriousness — because I’ve heard just about every millennial generalization you can think of on more than one occasion, and this tweet is ridiculous — Gottlieb joined Rob Bradford and Jermaine Wiggins on Sunday to elaborate on what he wrote.

“Well I just think it’s a completely different mindset and anybody who has dealt with athletes — look I grew up, I was an athlete myself,” Gottlieb said. “My dad was a coach, my mother is a coach. And I’ve had the chance to cover the NFL and college football and college basketball and the NBA, and you ask people and they’ll say, ‘The athletes are different now than they used to be.’ From their political awareness to their brand awareness and just to the idea that, ‘I’m going to quit because it’s not fun to me anymore.’ Which I understand. I get it. Anybody who’s had a job in our business knows there’s times where it’s not fun. … It is supposed to, I think in your mind, be super fun to go to work and it’s just not.

“And look, I’ve never had chronic pain, so I don’t actually know what that’s like. But I look at the history of football and, for the most part, one of the things that makes football players different human beings than the rest of us is their ability to process the rigors of practice, the pain of a Monday morning after a Sunday afternoon and get up and go to work and do it again. And Andrew Luck is like, ‘Nah.’ Look, had he torn his Achilles tendon after the shoulder injury or whatever and the lacerated kidney, I kind of get it. But remember, he was telling everybody a week ago he was going to be fine, he was going to be back. But apparently, you go back a week ago in a preseason game and he said last night that — he just warmed up on the field — he knew it was going to be the last time he warmed up on the field. So he knew, like, kind of a week ago that he was feeling this way.”

And Gottlieb ensures this wasn’t a personal attack because he’s been an “Andrew Luck defender for a long time.”

“This is just more about the difference in mentality,” Gottlieb continued. “Take calls on people who hire millennials. They’ll come in and they think very highly of themselves. Now, he actually isn’t totally entitled. He doesn’t carry himself with an air of arrogance. But oftentimes, people who own businesses, they’re like, ‘Yeah, we’ll hire a guy and then two and a half months in he wants a raise.’ Like, that’s not the way it works. There’s just a different kind of mindset these days and this is different (from) anything we’ve seen. This is not Jim Brown, this is not Barry Sanders. There’s just more of these what you would call ‘different dudes’ (where) football is not their life and basketball is not their life (like) it used to be. And if you don’t think that’s different now or there’s a higher volume of them, I would say you’re probably at least a little out of touch with talking to coaches and talking to GM’s and talking to AD’s around the country.”

So because athletes like to enjoy other things the world has to offer, rather than obsess over their sport as if it’s the only thing of value in their life, that makes them mentally weak? And how does Luck quitting due to reoccurring injuries make him entitled?

The biggest flaw in Gottlieb’s defense came at the end of his interview when Wiggy brought up how football players are more mindful of life after the game. 

“No question; that kind of makes my point, right? And in some ways, it’s not a bad thing to think about your life,” Gottlieb said.

No, it doesn’t make your point, Doug. Wiggy was explaining how Luck and others are more educated than their predecessors because they have an understanding of the struggles some deal with after their football career ends. This may seem like a weird concept, but learning from the experiences of others can be helpful.

Also, it’s really good to know “it’s not a bad thing to think about your life.” Was worried for a minute.