The ineptitude of the Detroit Lions franchise can rub anyone the wrong way. Fans and local sports prognosticators have been stuck in decades of mediocrity and worse. Over the past decade, The lone bright spot in an annual Lions pity party was Calvin Johnson.
Despite playing for a doomed franchise, Megatron rose to the height of his profession as the games elite wide receiver.
And then he abruptly retired in his prime on some Barry Sanders sh*t. Now he claims he was mistreated by Detroits organization after he decided to save himself some CTE and retire.
At his football camp this week, Johnson told the Detroit Free Press that he was frustrated with how the team treated him when he announced his retirement after the 2015 season:
Deadspin (@Deadspin) May 22, 2017
I dont even like to talk Lions too much just because the way our relationship ended, Johnson said when asked about his No. 81 being retired. If they see me around here, well see. But hey, I dont know.
Who does like the Lions?
I just didnt feel like I was treated the way I should have been treated on the way out Johnson lamented. Thats all. I mean, its all good. Im not tripping. I dont feel any kind of way, just hey, thats what they did. Hey, it is what is.
He obviously does feel a way, but Johnson didnt offer any specifics. Its probably connected to the fact that the team required him to return a portion of his signing bonus when he walked away with several years left on his contract. It’s the same thing they did to Barry Sanders.
Sure, they are within their contractual rights to do so, but what a way to thank the two greatest players in your franchise history. Its a reflection of how the Lions value their best players and how they show very little concern for their superstars beyond football.
Is it just a coincidence that the two most important Lions players in the last four decades both jumped ship and left millions on the table without ever winning a championship?
We can’t say for sure, but we can all read between the lines and assume that playing for the Lions is not conducive to ones physical, financial or mental health.