New Detroit Lion Changes Number out of Respect for Megatron

Detroit Lions hope Anquan Boldin can offset loss of Calvin Johnson. But Boldin says he won’t usurp Johnson’s jersey.

The Detroit Lions have a new receiver who says he is taking a new jersey number as a way to honor one of the team’s most-famous former stars.

When Calvin Johnson broke the news earlier this year that he would retire after years of being one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, the Lions brought in numerous players the team hopes can combine to replace at least a portion of Megatron’s prodigious production.

That includes the recent addition of 13-year veteran Anquan Boldin, who has spent his NFL career wearing jersey number 81.

But Boldin says he will be number 80 in Detroit because he did not want to ask for his former number, the same one once worn by Megatron.

Boldin says he knows what Johnson meant to the community and the Lions’ organization and says Megatron’s body of work demands respect.

Detroit has not yet retired Johnson’s jersey number.

But Boldin says he does not believe he or anyone else on the team should ever again wear the number Megatron made famous en route to his probable enshrinement in pro football’s Hall of Fame.


  • Quinn Klinefelter
    Quinn Klinefelter is a Senior News Editor at 101.9 WDET. In 1996, he was literally on top of the news when he interviewed then-Senator Bob Dole about his presidential campaign and stepped on his feet.