It’s been a long time since we checked in with Calvin Johnson. Prior to the 2017 season, there were some nasty words shared by the Detroit Lions wide receiver surrounding the way things ended with Detroit. There was a irrational spike in interest in the retired receiver around the trade deadline. But, otherwise, it has been a pretty quiet retired life for Johnson.
On Tuesday, Johnson broke his silence and penned a very interesting article for The Players’ Tribune. In it, he details what he’s been doing since he retired, why he ended up doing “Dancing with the Stars” and just how little he actually missed playing football.
“I can honestly say that I don’t miss playing,” Johnson wrote. “I love football. But it became difficult to love the game as much when I was in some sort of pain every day.”
But what about his competitive nature? What about his love for the game?
All of that seems to be filled with what has become a busy retired life for Johnson. He got married, tried skiing and danced in front of a live audience while dealing with stage fright for the first time in his life.
“The thought of being on stage during a live TV broadcast was kind of terrifying,” Johnson admitted. “It wasn’t like stepping on a football field and playing. I never questioned my ability on the football field, and I had played in front of people my whole life.”
But perhaps the thing that keeps him most satisfied during retirement is staying in the game of football as a mentor. Johnson says his knowledge and skillset have been in high demand since retirement and that a career in mentorship has already been highly rewarding.
“Another thing I always wanted to do was coach and mentor young receivers,” Johnson wrote. “I wanted to expand on that and build a business where I could not only teach the art of catching the football, but also show guys how to be professionals. How to be men. I wanted to be a cross between a trainer, life coach and educator. Someone who could show them the ropes and help them navigate what life could — and probably would — throw at them.”
While Johnson has yet to build said business, he has helped mentor college kids trying to prepare for the NFL, helped high school kids prepare for college and even showed up to Raiders training camp last year to help out there.
It’s really an interesting read into the life and mind of Megatron, and it easily explains why it was so easy for him to leave the game of football and never look back.