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Cris Carter gets to eat crow with Calvin Johnson

Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys Getty Images

The Lions return to Monday Night Football for the first time in a decade.  Before kickoff, a guy who last played in the NFL a decade ago will sit down with Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson for an interview that will include a few bites of fried crow.

Cris Carter has interviewed Johnson for a feature that will be included in the ESPN pregame show.  Less than two months ago, Carter created a stir by omitting Johnson from Carter’s personal list of the top five NFL receivers — and then by stubbornly refusing to change his mind.  (Recently, Carter did.)

Johnson tells the team’s official website that Carter had an explanation for the slight.  “He just goes off what he knows,” Johnson said.  “He told me that he didn’t know what I was.  I can’t blame him for that.  We haven’t been out there like that as a team.

“But now he knows.”

But that’s not what Carter said in August.  Here’s what Carter said:  “Calvin Johnson, he’s very, very good at Madden and Tecmo Bowl or whatever they’re playing now.  But on film, when I watch film, and I break down the film, he’s not to the point of these guys yet.”

The more accurate explanation, in our view, is that Carter simply forgot Johnson as he reeled off a list of five receivers in response to a question posed during an appearance on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning.  When Mike Greenberg pointed out that Carter omitted Calvin Johnson, Carter couldn’t acknowledge to a pencil-necked, never-played-the-game guy like Greenberg that Carter had made a mistake.  And so Carter dug in his heels.

Since then, Carter has ping-ponged.  He initially backtracked, but then he tried to explain away the slight by claiming that Calvin’s quarterback can’t stay healthy.  Most recently, Carter has called Johnson the “king of the NFL.”

It’s fitting, then, that the king will be interviewed by a guy whose stubborn refusal to admit a mistake transformed him, at least for a few weeks, into the NFL’s court jester.

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37 Responses to “Cris Carter gets to eat crow with Calvin Johnson”
  1. raiderredleg says: Oct 9, 2011 10:49 AM

    Wow…Carter is really making a case for his enshrinement in Canton…NOT.

  2. suhisbetterthanu says: Oct 9, 2011 10:49 AM

    MEGATROOOOOOOON!!!

  3. reed380 says: Oct 9, 2011 10:51 AM

    12 TD’s and 1200 yards gets Johnson in to the Pro Bowl last year and Carter is just now figuring out what Megatron is?

  4. elwaysbrain says: Oct 9, 2011 10:53 AM

    King of the NFL? Revis must be God then.

  5. gdeli says: Oct 9, 2011 10:55 AM

    chris should have shut up about that. wow. open mouth, insert foot!

  6. cgarsmoker says: Oct 9, 2011 10:56 AM

    Megatron is better than Chris Carter ever was…..Another stupid comment from a talking head that proves beyond the shadow of a doubt….Chris Carter is an idiot.

  7. melikefootball says: Oct 9, 2011 10:56 AM

    Love watcing that, he should be down the same road as Hank. He has to have something on Boomer to keep him on th show.

  8. sterilizecromartie says: Oct 9, 2011 11:04 AM

    “…a pencil-necked, never-played-the-game guy like Greenberg..”

    What does that make you, Mike?

  9. epmckenna says: Oct 9, 2011 11:05 AM

    This raises the question: who cares who Cris Carter’s top 5 receivers are anyway?

  10. radtrigger says: Oct 9, 2011 11:08 AM

    Cris Carter = Talking Pile of Poo….there are alot of them on ESPN.

  11. raiderbeliever says: Oct 9, 2011 11:11 AM

    the only thing bigger than Carters hands is his mouth. At least he’s wisely used his hands. His mouth? Not so much.

  12. newagedp says: Oct 9, 2011 11:14 AM

    Was the “fried crow” remark racist?

  13. wawa33 says: Oct 9, 2011 11:18 AM

    Chris Carter is to Calvin Johnson what Burt “the masher” favre is to Aaron Rodgers this week. Jealousy rears it’s ugly head again.

  14. wawa33 says: Oct 9, 2011 11:19 AM

    IS there anything more worse than the espn segment, “C’MON MAN”?

  15. henrykissingerisgod says: Oct 9, 2011 11:19 AM

    god forbid somebody makes a mistake…if you as a person are not 100% correct with everything you say at all times you must be tarred and feathered

  16. worldsgreatest says: Oct 9, 2011 11:22 AM

    I can not stand that he calls himself Megatron. It drives me CRAZY. But only because I’m a life long Transformers fan. Haha. Oh well. I can’t wait for his successor to come along and call himself Galvatron.

  17. trbowman says: Oct 9, 2011 11:23 AM

    ESPN is the worst.

  18. krycek84 says: Oct 9, 2011 11:30 AM

    In my Opinion, Calvin Johnson is not the King of the NFL, neither the King of WR.

    Yes, he’s awesome and a Top 5.

    But for me TD’s are not what make the best WR.

    Calvin Johnson is at 24 catchs for 41 targets (58.5% – 56.2% last year)

    A guy like Wes Welker is 40/56 (71.4% – 70.5%) better yds/catch.

    Larry Fitzgerald 23/34 (67.6% – 51.7%)
    Andre Johnson 25/37 (67.6% – 62.3%)
    Greg Jennings 25/33 (75.8% – 60.8%)
    Mike Wallace 25/31 (80.6% – 60%)

    All best % of catched balls and better yds/catch

    4 of 8 Johnson’s TD are -5yds alley oop passes against 5inches smaller DB

  19. woodyg says: Oct 9, 2011 11:35 AM

    I’m not sure that Carter has to back off much in his assessment of Johnson …… Although football is the ultimate team sport, elite players lead their teams to victory more often than not …… Before 2011, the Lions record in Johnson’s 1st 4 years was 15-49 ….. Obviously his impact changed little until 2011 (so far) ……

    Calvin Johnson …… Can anyone say …. “Ova–Ra—Ted” ……

  20. lionsfan54 says: Oct 9, 2011 11:42 AM

    “I can not stand that he calls himself Megatron. It drives me CRAZY. But only because I’m a life long Transformers fan. Haha. Oh well. I can’t wait for his successor to come along and call himself Galvatron.”
    ————————————————–

    He never has called himself Megatron. He doesn’t use that name. It was given to him by Roy Williams when CJ came in as a rookie. Calvin is actually VERY humble (too humble?).

  21. CKL says: Oct 9, 2011 11:42 AM

    I’m not a Cris Carter fan or anything and like many, I was incredulous that he wouldn’t have CJ in his top 5. But to Carter’s credit, I did hear him on ESPN (probably Mike & Mike), saying he was going to put himself on “COME ON, MAN” for not recognizing CJ’s talents.

  22. bukes111 says: Oct 9, 2011 11:51 AM

    henrykissingerisgod says:
    Oct 9, 2011 11:19 AM
    god forbid somebody makes a mistake…if you as a person are not 100% correct with everything you say at all times you must be tarred and feathered
    ________________________________

    You can make a mistake. It’s how stubborn he was in his defense for such a stupid mistake. If he said well in my opinion, he’s not quite as good as Greg Jennings and left it that, people would have left him alone. But when he goes on multiple diatribes about him being a style no substance WR (video game remark) and then pointing out that after watching alot of video, ( Calvin doesn’t attract double teams (false). I gaurantee that I saw more Detroit footage than Carter did when I ocassionaly see part of the game at the bar. They were terrible, I get it but don’t pretend your Jaws. Carter doesn’t come off like a video geek like the guys MMQB. Carter isn’t just getting killed because of his ignorance but also for his stuborness.

  23. francheyes says: Oct 9, 2011 11:59 AM

    Let’s be honest, the lions haven’t exactly lit the scoreboard up the past decade/decades. Carter has always been an egomaniac, on and off the field, but he could always back it up on the field. Now he’s not on the field and giving his opinion on what he thinks of johnson. I believe that’s what being an nfl commentator allows you, right? So until Detroit shows back to back seasons of winning records, I’d say cc be able to say whatever he wants to.

  24. jpres2001ss says: Oct 9, 2011 12:04 PM

    worldsgreatest says:
    Oct 9, 2011 11:22 AM
    I can not stand that he calls himself Megatron. It drives me CRAZY. But only because I’m a life long Transformers fan. Haha. Oh well. I can’t wait for his successor to come along and call himself Galvatron.

    He doesn’t call himself Megatron. Roy Williams gave him that nickname when they played together.

  25. bukes111 says: Oct 9, 2011 12:12 PM

    krycek84 says:
    Oct 9, 2011 11:30 AM
    4 of 8 Johnson’s TD are -5yds alley oop passes against 5inches smaller DB
    ______________________________

    You made a great argument and I like your “money ball” approach. The only thing I didn’t like was the “asterick” at the end that diminishes Calvin’s td total. His size is the big part of the package and the fact that you can’t put a cb under 5’11 on him in the red zone is what makes him great. That’s like saying “and 75% of Wes Welker’s catches is due to the fact that he’s faster than the taller db that’s covering him.”

    And you maybe correct that the other receivers may be more effective than Calvin this year but if I’m picking a team, the first WR I’d take is Andre but Calvin would be my second pick.

  26. 1stngoal says: Oct 9, 2011 12:12 PM

    How ironic it would be if Calvin Johnson playes himself into Canton while Cris Carter remains on the outside looking in…

  27. bukes111 says: Oct 9, 2011 12:17 PM

    woodyg says:
    Oct 9, 2011 11:35 AM
    I’m not sure that Carter has to back off much in his assessment of Johnson …… Although football is the ultimate team sport, elite players lead their teams to victory more often than not …… Before 2011, the Lions record in Johnson’s 1st 4 years was 15-49 ….. Obviously his impact changed little until 2011 (so far) ……

    Calvin Johnson …… Can anyone say …. “Ova–Ra—Ted” ……
    ________________________________

    This is not basketball. W/ the exception of the quarterback, a superstar can only impact a team’s record so much. But one thing you can’t deny about Johnson, he’s making Stafford’s transition to the NFL that much easier.

  28. backindasaddle says: Oct 9, 2011 12:26 PM

    Chris Carter is an analyst. He is supposed to be objective. He is anything but objective. He biased to the highest degree. He therefore is a crappy analyst and as such he should be fired. Every time I see Chris Carter come on and expound his opinions I think: ‘He’s biased and full of crap’….I don’t want to hear it…I change the channel. What else do you need to know about Chris Carter the “analyst”???

  29. ShaneShake says: Oct 9, 2011 12:35 PM

    Cool? This is football how?

  30. packerswambulance says: Oct 9, 2011 12:41 PM

    Cris Carter the football player was arguably one of the top 5 WR’s ever to play the game. If he’s not one of the best on the TV shows fine.

  31. pjhurley5 says: Oct 9, 2011 12:42 PM

    I think it’s far time we buried this story for good. There have been so many stupid stories on this site about how Cris Carter made this comment. The guy was wrong. BFD. Drop it and let’s move on to some real football news…

  32. krycek84 says: Oct 9, 2011 12:59 PM

    @bukes111

    TD is the only stats where Calvin is at the top.

    It’s like for RB, some are Goal-Line, which help to improve numbers of TD.

    It’s like if last year people said Mike Tolbert is a better RB than Jamaal Charles because he scores 11TD against 5

  33. jamezz23 says: Oct 9, 2011 1:48 PM

    Calvin is the complete receiver. Runs inside routes without fear, a big deep threat, always attracts double teams and is a good blocker. Right now he’s the best wr in the game. If those 5 yard alley oops are so easy why isn’t every team doing it.

  34. bukes111 says: Oct 9, 2011 8:21 PM

    krycek84 says:

    It’s like if last year people said Mike Tolbert is a better RB than Jamaal Charles because he scores 11TD against 5

    _________________________________

    Actually your Tolbert analogy is nothing like my Wes Welker analogy. Tolbert may do well in TD’s but he is far below Charles in total yards while Calvin who may not be #1 in every category, he is atleast in the top 10 or top 5 in each category.

    Again, I liked your initial argument. Receptions over targets is a good metric. I just had a problem with your last sentence putting an asterick on half of his touchdowns. He’s a match up nightmare, and when I see him, he attracts more double teams and overall attention singlehandedly than any receiver in the league not named Andre Johnson. Stats simply don’t tell the whole story.

  35. staffordsyear says: Oct 9, 2011 9:30 PM

    I have come to the conclusion that woodyg Is an Idiot.

  36. lionslover says: Oct 10, 2011 11:13 AM

    Comparing Megatron to Welker and others? Ridiculous. Do you really think defenses actually gameplan and gear their entire defensive plan to stop Welker, with all the weapons brady has? Give me a break. Opponents roll their entire defensive backfield to megatron on most passing downs every week. His is clearly, specifically game-planned against every week. No way are defensive coordinators specifically game-planning against one offensive guy when they play the Patriots, nor any of the other receivers besides the other Johnson.

    Johnsons catches are down specifically because defenses are game planning 75 percent of their attention to megatron, now look at the other Lions receivers and pettigrew and Scheffler. They are now getting a lot of Staffords passes their way because of that determination orf the defense to concentrate on Megatron. that’s all Dallas could talk about before the game, how meagtron was 11 feet tall. they had three guys on him sometimes. I assure you, they mainly concentrated their defense on one single guy. Now, do you think they would do this against Welker? Uh, NO. Calvin easily sees far more attention than any WR in the league, second place isn’t even close.

  37. jmacphee9 says: Oct 10, 2011 1:27 PM

    @krycek84

    those stats are misleading i would say…nor am i really sure those are accurate? but here nor there, CJ is not dropping balls, and while your argument is completely valid, welker is a possession receiver who until very recently started stretching the field but most of his catches are under the secondary. none of this to take away anything from wes welker, who is an absolute stud of a receiver, but i do think we are just twisting stats to represent things differently.

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