Calvin Johnson says he would have had harder time retiring if Lions had been contenders
When Calvin Johnson announced his retirement, there were some who believed that it was because he’d grown tired of the losing culture that permeates the Detroit Lions’ organization. It turns out that, while not the primary reason, Detroit’s history of failure made it easier for Johnson to walk away.
Johnson told ESPN’s Michael Smith in an interview for “E:60” that, while the wear and tear of playing in the NFL ultimately led to his retirement, he would have found it harder t walk away had the Lions been consistently competitive.
“If we would’ve been a contender, it would have been harder to let go,” Johnson said.
Johnson detailed the enormous physical toll the NFL took on him in explaining why he retired at the age of 30.
“When you wake up in the morning, you can’t walk,” Johnson said. “You know, you’re shufflin’ across the floor. I gotta go through, like, a little routine when I wake up in the morning to get everything functioning and ready to go. But, the only thing is everything just goes back to gridlock so fast once I sit down, ’cause you know you go to work again.”
It’s no wonder Johnson was so quick to quiet rumors of a comeback. His body just couldn’t take the punishment anymore – and the Lions’ frequent mediocrity made his decision easier.