It seems as if the all-time record holder for most receiving yards in a single season would be a shoe-in for having a bronze bust in Canton, Ohio. According to Hall of Fame wide receiver Lynn Swann, he isn’t so sure that should be the case.
A big topic of debate on the national level has been if Calvin Johnson were to retire: would he be a first-ballot Hall of Famer? The question keeps arising after Terrell Owens was Hall of Fame eligible this year but did not make the final cut. Many felt that Owens was snubbed by the selection committee due to the acceptance of Marvin Harrison, who had a lesser career statistically, but ultimately secured the final nod.
So if Owens, who stands second all-time in receiving yards, can’t make it the first try, where will the 27th ranked Johnson fall?
In saying that, this is the first high-profile name to come out and question if Johnson is even worthy of the venerated achievement at all.
“I would think that it would be difficult for Calvin Johnson at this point to be considered a Hall of Famer,” Steelers legend Lynn Swann said. “Calvin Johnson has an extreme amount of talent and ability, but when you start to look at his team, the success of his team and did he lift that team; he made them a little bit better, but at the end of the day, I’m not quite sure.”
Swann believes that because Calvin was not a part of any highly successful teams, that somehow it indicates he should not be honored. Maybe he doesn’t realize that the Hall of Fame is for individual success, not for what other teammates helped you accomplish. Swann’s biggest achievement was being named Super Bowl X’s MVP.
Similar to Johnson, Swann played nine years in the league but did not once even reach the 1,000-yard mark. The NFL is quite different in this day and age, but Swann wasn’t even the best player on his own team, let alone the entire NFL. The Steeler’s wide receiver had to wait 19 seasons to be introduced in the Hall-of-fame after retiring in 1982.
There have been plenty of Hall of Fame players to go through Canton without a ring, but Swann clearly believes that the lack of hardware on Calvin’s fingers will be a major hurdle.
“Hard to say he’s going to be in the Hall of Fame when his team hasn’t gotten to a Super Bowl, and they don’t get a chance to get into the playoffs,” Swann said. “And that’s for a lot of guys across the board. If he had broken every passing record, like Danny Fouts, who didn’t win the Super Bowl, then yeah, I think there’s going to be consideration.”
Maybe Swann hasn’t watched a lot of football lately, but he would be hard pressed to find many individuals who would take him on their team over the one and only, Megatron.