Detroit Lions: A letter to Calvin Johnson, a Hall of Famer and role model

(Detroit Free Press)
(Detroit Free Press) /
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Detroit Lions, Calvin Johnson
(Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/Getty Images) /

Former Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson had quite the accolades too.

If not for Jerry Rice, Calvin Johnson would be the greatest wide receiver in NFL history; he only played nine seasons. He finished his career with 1,312 targets, 731 receptions for 11,619 yards (almost reaching 2,000 yards in 2012), and 83 touchdowns.

He holds the record for receiving yards in a single season with 1,964, most consecutive 100+ yard games (eight), most consecutive games with ten catches or more, the shortest amount of time to reach 10,000 yards (115 games), and most receiving yards in Lions history.

He played in 135 games.

His retirement felt like a breakup. Detroit’s most remarkable attraction has shut down, which sparked the question, why am I still rooting for this team? I have no reason to watch their games since Megatron retired. What is the point?

How did Megatron’s retirement strengthen my love for the Lions?

After Megatron walked away from the franchise, I began to look at the team differently. I watched players who I’ve rarely seen play. Matthew Stafford impressed me game after game, especially his ability to lead a game-winning drive. Kenny Golladay stepped into Megatron’s shoes in hopes of once filling them. However, during the offseason, he stepped out of them and headed off to the Big Apple.

I know more about the Detroit Lions than I do my own family because of Calvin Johnson. He introduced me to a franchise that just wants support and loyalty. Two things I believe are vital components to being your best self. I have learned so much more than just names on a roster. I read about the team’s history, including why they always play on Thanksgiving and the curse of Bobby Layne. (Both are fascinating stories you should google if you have not already)