On December 22nd, Calvin Johnson set a new NFL record for receiving yards in a single season. Johnson passed the mark put up by Jerry Rice in the fourth quarter of the Detroit Lions Week 16 game. After the record breaking catch, Johnson ran over to the sidelines and handed the football to his father. The jersey Calvin was wearing at the time is about to go on an even bigger journey.
In 2013, mountain climber Jeffrey Gottfurcht will take the record breaking jersey to the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the largest mountain in Africa. The mountain climb is part of Gottfurcht’s journey to become the first person with rheumatoid arthritis to climb the mountains that are part of the “Seven Summits”. The mountains listed below make up the seven:
- Mt. Kosciuszko (Australia)
- Mt. Elbrus (Europe)
- Mt. Kilimanjaro (Africa)
- Mt. Vinson Massif (Antarctica)
- Mt. Everest (Asia)
- Mt. McKinley (North America)
- Mt. Aconcagua (South America)
The jersey will also be part of Gottfurcht’s goal to fight juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Gottfurcht was diagnosed with the disease eight years ago at the age of 28. He has not let it hold him back and feels very confident he can complete his goal. In 2011, he climbed Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. While at the peak, Gottfurcht, a lifelong Lions fan, took a picture of himself with a Lions banner.
“I may not be able to make JRA go away, but I know I can help inspire, bring happiness and fulfill the dreams of many of the 300,000 children afflicted with rheumatic diseases,” Gottfurcht said in his quest. There are no reports on if Calvin’s jersey will make the journey to other mountains.
In 2012, Calvin broke the record for single season receiving yards with 1964 yards. Calvin also set the NFL records for most straight 100 yard games with eight. Johnson also became the first player with 10 receptions in four straight games. I did a slideshow of other NFL records Calvin can break in his career. He may have to break some soon to give Gottfurcht a new jersey to take on his mountain journeys.