Calvin Johnson Made The Right Decision (And This Isn’t A Lions Hate Post)
It’s all too easy these days to pick on the Lions organization. After all, the team has a record for stupidity and futility that dates back to the Middle Ages. But Calvin Johnson’s still-not-official decision to pack up his stuff and leave probably had nothing to do with the Lions and everything to do with Calvin’s health.
Ask yourself: If I was financially secure at the age of 31, with more than 40 million dollars in the bank, would I still get up and go to my job? The answer would probably be no.
Add to the equation that your job is potentially harmful to your health, and you have a family with young children. Now I know the answer is no.
So why do we view Calvin Johnson’s retirement as an indictment that the Lions organization screwed things up somehow? Is that an easy out to try and explain a pretty rational and logical decision?
In 2000, Robert Smith was one of the most promising young running backs in the NFL, yet he walked away from his starting role with the Minnesota Vikings, stating he’d had enough of getting smacked around, and he wanted his senses later in life when he planned to be a doctor.
No one seemed to question his decision, and Smith went on to be one of the most outspoken critics of the NFL’s lack of a solid concussion policy. And no one held the Vikings organization accountable for his departure.
I recently saw the Will Smith movie ‘Concussion’ and while the movie watered down the problem of head trauma in the NFL considerably, I remember thinking to myself, there’s no way a young man playing in the NFL wouldn’t have second thoughts about playing in the league if they saw this film.
Johnson has had a history of missing games to due injuries. His fingers are bent and misshappened. He’s had his bell rung a few too many times.
He probably went to his financial advisor and inquired if his family could live a pretty good lifestyle with the money they have saved. The answer was probably a resounding ‘HELL YES!” (Calvin made about 16 million dollars last year alone).
So why not walk away? What else is there left to accomplish?
If you care about Calvin Johnson, the human being, rather than Calvin Johnson as MEGATRON, the saving grace of a flailing franchise, I think you would be like me and agree, it’s the right thing to do.