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NFC North Watch: Calvin Johnson is Playing the Wrong Sport

This is Dorsey Levens, one of the players in the concussion lawsuits, and a former Packers running back. He's finishing a documentary on concussions.
This is Dorsey Levens, one of the players in the concussion lawsuits, and a former Packers running back. He's finishing a documentary on concussions.

Calvin Johnson made an appearance with the Detroit Tigers before a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates and took batting practice with the team. He made some very solid contact, a couple deep balls to the outfield, before timing up a perfect line-drive home run to left field. Only two more until he ties Albert Pujols.

In actual football news, Lions running back Kevin Smith said that Megatron is the key to triggering the Lions' running game.

"The sky is the limit," Smith said. "I think with the way Calvin plays ... you have to start with his play. With the receiving game and passing game, all across the board from the receivers to the tight ends, you want that type of threat to open up the run game. You just can't come in and stack the box against the Lions anymore. You have to have that kind of player (Johnson) who balances game.

"Then it becomes a chess match between the coordinators. I'm very excited. We have a long way to training camp. We have a long way to the opener. We have a long way to the preseason game, but right now, I'm just excited to see everybody in offseason workouts when we don't have to be here. Everybody is working for one common goal."

Donald Driver made some waves between dances on Dancing with the Stars - on Thursday, he tweeted that he was a "Packer for life," which sent some news outlets into a tizzy figuring out if he'd re-signed with the Packers or if he had been cut. He cleared everything up later.

"I'm still under contract. My contract is not over with the Packers. I will be a Packer for life. I don't think that's ever going to change. I think that's what I want the fans to understand. Don't worry. If you haven't heard it from me or you haven't heard it from the Packers, you can't listen to the reporters, the media. ... You have to trust me, and you also have to trust the Packers that I will be a Packer for life."

In other news about older Packers players that were effective into their later years, the Packers have planned to wait an extra year or two before they retire Brett Favre's number, "when it is meaningful to [Favre]." Might be meaningful to Favre, but how about any Packers' fans?

And on the subject of ex-Packers, Dorsey Levens is working on a concussion documentary called Bell Rung, and the project is now in its final stages after 18 months. Levens is one of the players involved in a concussion lawsuit, but he doesn't care about that, he says.

"My goal is not to worry about the legalities of it," Levens said. "My goal is to let people know what's going on and to get guys help. I could care less about the case."

Levens hopes to have the documentary completed by late June to early July in order to have a premier screening in conjunction with the Atlanta Film Festival with a roundtable discussion. He wants college players to see it before they return to their campuses and pros to see it before training camp opens.

"My goal, the whole time has been twofold," Levens said. "One, is awareness and two, is to get these guys who need help, some help."

Minnesota's governor, Mark Dayton, explained why the state decided to pay for part of the Vikings' new stadium. Complete with a full-on Q&A.

I believe it's the best deal available under the circumstances. I'm not one to defend the economics of professional sports. It's a world unto itself. Any deal you make in that world doesn't make sense from the way the rest of us look at it. That's just a given.

The bottom line was: do we want to create several thousand jobs by building this new facility? Do we want to keep the Minnesota Vikings in Minnesota? Do we want an NFL franchise here in our state? We accomplished all that. We're going to have a chance to build something that I think Minnesotans can be very proud of. It's going to distinguish the city of Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota for decades to come.

It can be used 355 days a year when the Vikings aren't playing in it as the people's stadium, for all sorts of other uses that will enhance the quality of life in our state. Time will tell whether we get a deal or not, I think it's going to be a good deal when we look back with the perspective of time.

Adrian Peterson left last year with a torn ACL, MCL and meniscus, but said he's about "50-50" he'll be ready for camp.