It wasn't the melancholy and nostalgia of having to leave that grates on people. That part is normal.
It's the constant cliched references to how he didn't want to end up like all those "other" pathetic jocks who centered their lives around football. He poured it on thick as molasses all the way through the book. It was obvious bullshite, and it's comically clear that John Ed never came face to face with the reality that he was really describing himself a lot more than he was ever really describing those other guys, most of whom were just ordinary regular dudes getting on with living happy lives.
It was just disappointing that he never seemed to face this reality at any point in the story. Really weird in a way.
This post was edited on 1/24 at 5:04 pm