Italian Bowl XXXVII to feature Calvin “Megatron” Johnson

This weekend’s Italian Bowl between the Milano Rhinos and Milano Seamen will feature more than a crosstown rivalry.

Former Detroit Lions Pro Bowl receiver Calvin Johnson will be on hand to deliver the game ball.

The 6’5″, 239 lb Johnson, a six-time Pro Bowl receiver, had a stellar career in his nine seasons with the Lions and with his size and speed (40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds) earned the nickname “Megatron” (after the character in the Transformers movies).

He was drafted by the Lions in the 2007 NFL Draft and had an immediate impact on the team. He was named to his first Pro Bowl in 2010.

Photo: Mike Mulholland

On December 22, 2012, Johnson broke Jerry Rice’s single-season record for receiving yards, which had previously been 1,848, and finished the 2012 season with 1,964 yards, an average of almost 123 yards per game. In that same game versus the Atlanta Falcons, Johnson also set the NFL records for consecutive 100-yard games (8) and consecutive games with 10 or more receptions (4). He tied Michael Irvin’s record for most 100-yard games in a season with 11.

Johnson retired from the NFL in 2016  after nine seasons. His 11,619 receiving yards rank third in a player’s first nine seasons, trailing only Torry Holt (11,864) and Jerry Rice (11,776). Since Johnson was drafted by the Lions with the second overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft, no player has more receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and 100-yard games (46) than Johnson through the 2015 season. Among those who have played in 100 career games in NFL history, no player has averaged more receiving yards per game than Johnson. Johnson’s average of 86.1 receiving yards per game is 8.7 yards better than the next-closest player on that list, Torry Holt. His 5,137 receiving yards from 2011–2013 are the most by any player over a three-year stretch in NFL history.






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