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Carter backtracks on his Calvin Johnson critique


Upon hearing about Friday’s comments from ESPN’s Cris Carter regarding his belief that Lions receiver Calvin Johnson isn’t one of the top five receivers in football, I thought one of two things had happened.

First, Carter forgot about Johnson when coming up with a seat-of-the-pants list in response to a Twitter question, and then Carter opted to try to fashion an argument to support his oversight instead of simply saying, “Oops.” Second, Carter for some reason wants to see Johnson play better, so Carter decided to call Johnson out in order to advance that agenda, a dynamic to which ESPN’s Tom Jackson formally introduced the football-following world in January.

As it turns out, it was the former.

On Monday’s edition of ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning, the show on which Carter uttered his controversial comments, the two Mikes talked about the reaction to Carter’s opinion, with pretty much everyone who has weighed in taking the position that Carter was flat wrong. They capped the discussion by pointing out that Carter had called the studio with this message regarding Johnson: "[H]e’s right there with the top five. I may have given Reggie Wayne a gift.”

In other words, Carter apparently opted not to admit in real time that he had inadvertently overlooked Johnson, choosing instead to stubbornly support an inherently flawed argument. Three days later, with no way out of the maze, Carter issued a mea culpa which the two Mikes laughed off as they went to a break.

Carter could have laughed it all off on Friday, if he’d been willing to admit that he made a mistake. Of course, with an ever-growing stable of analysts vying for air time in Bristol, openly admitting to mistakes could be bad for a guy’s career.