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What to make of Lions’ legend Calvin Johnson being at Ford Field

Calvin Johnson will always have the hearts of Detroit Lions fans in the palm of his hand.

Always.

Over the course of his nine seasons with the Lions, “Megatron” has built a cult-like following. And if you don’t believe it, then I need you to do something for me.

Go look at his Twitter profile. Once you’re on his page, scroll down to his tweet from Wednesday evening at 5:54 pm. Johnson tweeted a selfie while at Ford Field with the caption “Back in the Lions Den. #Megatron #Lions #Detroit.”

Once you’re done doing that, go look at his Instagram account.

As I am typing this story, his last post is another selfie. He’s sitting in a row of seats at Ford Field and the caption on his post read, “Here’s to the fans that have supported me during my time in the league. Week after week. Rain, snow, or shine, you were always there. I’ve never experienced this POV (point of view). Maybe I’ll grab season tickets next year.”

Johnson’s post set social media on fire in Detroit.

Fans are trying to figure out what it means. Many were hoping his series of posts meant he’s mending fences with the Lions organization.

Because let’s not forget, the Detroit Lions and Johnson weren’t on the best terms. Johnson having to repay the team a little over $1 million of his signing bonus after he retired didn’t sit well with him. And his reluctance to have any involvement with the team because of that came out of his own mouth.

Many thoughts and theories are floating over those posts. And because of those things mentioned, it’s fair to have those thoughts.

Well, let’s pump the brakes on that. Because everything isn’t what it seems.

On Thursday morning, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reported that Johnson’s appearance at Ford Field yesterday didn’t necessarily mean he and the Lions are on good terms now. Despite that, with those two social media posts, Calvin Johnson did something for the Detroit Lions fan base that he hasn’t done since his playing days.

He gave fans hope.

Detroit Lions legend Calvin Johnson
Sep 26, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Calvin Johnson speaks during a hall of fame ceremony at halftime of a game between the Detroit Lions and the Baltimore Ravens at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, Detroit Red Wings President of Hockey Ops, Steve Yzerman, announced the hiring of Nicklas Lidstrom as V.P. of Hockey Ops. It was a feel-good moment for all Red Wings fans. Two of the franchise’s best players are leading the charge of restoring the team to glory. Heck, there’s even posts of Sergei Fedorov. Many are posting his current coaching record with CSKA Moscow. Some fans are hoping he’ll return to the Red Wings as their next coach.

Then on Wednesday, hours before Johnson’s post, Barry Sanders, arguably the greatest Detroit Lion of all time, sung the praises of the organization and its future on The Pat McAfee Show. For a man of few words, Sanders speaking so glowingly, took some people aback.

That’s what Lions fans were wanting when they saw Johnson at Ford Field.

Not necessarily that he’s in a front office position with the team or that he’s a team ambassador, but they wanted him home. They wanted him to be involved with the Lions somehow. Because as this team is rebuilding, like the Red Wings, Lions fans want their greats involved in this process, or at least the thought that they’re supporting it.

Calvin Johnson may not be back in the fold with the Lions, but when/if it happens, Wednesday evening was a preview of what the reaction would be.

Follow Kory Woods on Twitter at KoryEWoods.

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