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Detroit
Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Wake up, Mike Florio! Calvin Johnson is definitely a Hall of Famer

NOTE: The views expressed in this EDITORIAL do not necessarily reflect the views of Detroit Sports Nation or a majority of its writers and should not be misconstrued as such. The views contained within are the views of the author and the author alone.

If you happened to catch “The Dan Patrick Show” on Tuesday, you were forced to listen to Profootballtalk.com founder Mike Florio spout off about how he believes that former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson does not deserve Hall of Fame status. I am here on behalf of every fan who watched Johnson play, to not so gently point out that Florio is out of his mind to think that one of the greatest receivers ever step on a football field should be left out of the HOF.

It all started off with Patrick asking Florio if he had heard their topic about Johnson getting into the HOF. Florio acknowledged that he had read “The Dan Patrick Show” blogger Andrew (McLovin) Perloff’s tweet saying Johnson was a Hall of Famer.

Florio then went into a rant about how he disagrees wholeheartedly about Johnson getting into the HOF.

“I strongly disagree with that proposition in part because this is an all-time thing,” Florio said. “This isn’t how brightly did you burn for a short period of time. Under that standard, Terrell Davis should already be in the Hall of Fame. This is how do you rack up against the all-time greats.”

Let’s stop there and look at the last part of that statement: “This is how you rack up against the all-time greats.”

Well, Mr. Florio, you clearly do not know much about the wide receiver position if you truly believe that Calvin Johnson is not one of the all-time greats. In fact, when taking a look at the list of the 25 wide receivers who are currently in the HOF, it would be difficult to pick out more than a handful that were better than Johnson.

Of the 25 wide receivers who are currently in the HOF, only 10 have more career receiving yards than Johnson’s 11,619 and only 10 have more receiving touchdowns than Johnson’s 83. (Note: Charley Taylor had 79 receiving TD’s and 11 rushing TD’s if you want to throw him in the mix)

Despite playing only nine seasons in the NFL, Johnson ranks fairly well compared to those receivers who have already been elected into the HOF. Top 10 in yards and top 10 in TD’s, that sounds like a pretty strong case to me. But Florio obviously needs a bit more help on this one, so how about this.

Once again, looking at the 25 wide receivers who are currently in the HOF, since Florio is all about the all-timers, how about this little nugget of statistical information to chew on:

HOF Wide Receiver Avg. Yards Per Season
Marvin Harrison 1,121.5
Jerry Rice 1,090.2
Michael Irvin 992.0

Looking at the table above, you can see that Marvin Harrison, Jerry Rice, and Michael Irvin rank at the top of the list of Hall of Fame receivers when it comes to average receiving yards per season. It should come as no surprise that those three players topped the list, as they are considered to be three of the greatest receivers ever to play in the NFL. Even Florio has to agree with that.

Now let’s take a look at the same list, but I will include Calvin Johnson, just for giggles and kicks.

Receiver Avg. Yards Per Season
Calvin Johnson 1,291.0
Marvin Harrison 1,121.5
Jerry Rice 1,090.2
Michael Irvin 992.0

That’s right Mr. Florio, and others who disagree that Johnson should get into the HOF, the man also known as “Megatron” averaged more yards per season over his career than ANY OTHER Hall of Fame receiver. MORE THAN ANY HALL OF FAME RECEIVER, Mr. Florio!

Of course, we can all agree (hopefully) that yards are not as important as getting in the end zone. So, let’s take a look at how Johnson fares compared to the current HOF wide receivers in terms of average receiving touchdowns per season.

Receiver Avg. Touchdowns per season
Marvin Harrison 9.85
Jerry Rice 9.38
Calvin Johnson 9.22

Not only does Johnson top every single HOF receiver when it comes to average yards per season, but he also comes in third when it comes to average touchdowns per season. Did Florio somehow miss out on this information? It was not hard to calculate.

Florio’s main argument seemed to be that Johnson did not play long enough to even be considered for the HOF. Well, if playing 10 seasons or more is a requirement for making the HOF, then Florio is correct, since Johnson only played nine. But longevity is not one of the requirements, trust me, I checked it out. In fact, there are other receivers in the HOF who also played nine seasons but have numbers that pale in comparison to those of the great Calvin Johnson.

Another point that Florio brought up was the fact that Johnson did not have any playoff success with the Lions.

“I just think that it’s a hard argument to make without postseason success, with only nine years, 43rd all time on the receiving list,” Florio said. “All the guys who are Hall of Famers below him were ’70s-, ’60s- and ’50s-era receivers. None of the modern-era guys are that low.”

Really, Mike? You are going to base Johnson’s HOF chances on whether or not he led the Lions to playoff success? Please tell me how many of the 25 HOF receivers were the main reason for whether or not their respective team advanced in the playoffs. I’ll hang up and listen. Actually, this is my time to talk, so listen closely Mr. Florio.

Wide receivers ARE NOT the main reason a team has success in the playoffs. In fact, when you think about it, receivers are a ways down the list when it comes to which positions are the most valuable to a team’s success. To eliminate Calvin Johnson from HOF consideration because the Lions failed to win a playoff game is borderline ignorant. Check that, it is absolutely ignorant.

Lastly, Mr. Florio, I would have just chalked this up as another talking head trying to draw attention to himself, but considering you wrote about the same topic back in March, I have to conclude that you actually believe it. You actually believe that Calvin “Megatron” Johnson is unworthy of the Hall of Fame, and you are entitled to your opinion.

But so am I Mr. Florio, and YOU are wrong! Trust me, we will be seeing Calvin Johnson in Canton before all is said and done.

Don Drysdale
I am a fan of all Detroit sports and LOVE to write about them!

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