Calvin Johnson retired from the NFL today after nine seasons with the Detroit Lions. He was arguably the greatest receiver of his era, amassing 11,619 yards, 721 receptions and 83 touchdowns. He was unstoppable at times, often requiring double and triple teams. He was fun to watch, he was well-respected by peers, and he was beloved by fans. He also unintentionally gave us perhaps the greatest football Vine ever after Green Bay defeated Detroit on a Hail Mary in 2015.
All that being said, Johnson was a part of some awful, awful Lions teams over the last decade. The 2008 squad in particular went 0-16. The 2011 and 2014 Lions went to the playoffs only to lose in heartbreaking fashion to the Saints and Cowboys respectively. The frustration and the physical toll the game took on his body was simply too much. Rumors began circulating shortly after the season about a possible retirement. Nobody wanted to believe it, least of all the Detroit Lions.