Lane Johnson pens emotional masterpiece promoting mental health

Lane Johnson #65, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Lane Johnson #65, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

When a guy spends his entire career playing right tackle on a team that has often been loaded with stars on offense and defense, there’s a tendency for him to be overlooked. As great as Lane Johnson is and has been for the Philadelphia Eagles, we don’t talk about him nearly as often as we ought to, but on October 10th, a day distinguished as World Mental Health Day, Lane takes center stage.

An emotional win in Arizona, the Eagles’ first victory at State Farm Stadium, was followed by the usual tweets about how happy we are that the Birds got the job done. On the following Monday, Johnson gave social media something more valuable, words from his heart about a subject that’s near and dear to him.

Check this one out.

On World Mental Health Day, we thank Lane Johnson for helping us remember what’s important.

Though steps have been made to ensure we take mental health seriously, it can still be a discussion that people steer clear of. People like Lane make those conversations easier by being so open about the challenges that they have faced.

Birds fans have grown to love the former fourth-overall selection for many reasons. He’s an Eagle through and through. He’s made mistakes, gotten himself suspended, and fought his way back to become not only a better person but one of the guys we’ve trusted the most over these past ten seasons. He’s also a champion both on the field and off.

As seriously as we take the game sometimes, it is simply a game. NFL stars are more than Madden ratings and Fantasy football chess pieces. They’re real people with emotions and lives outside of the game. Lane Johnson and Brandon Brooks before him, another champion of mental health awareness, remind us of that sometimes.

They’ve taught us that, if they can be brave enough to be vulnerable in a profession we associate with machismo, we can be the same.

Again, as stated earlier, we don’t talk about Lane Johnson enough. That’s what happens when you play right tackle and many of the guys that you go to war with on the offensive line are also stars, including a couple who have legitimate Hall of Fame arguments (Jason Kelce, Jason Peters).

Much of the reason we don’t discuss Number 65 is he’s too good. Sometimes, we only bring linemen up when they’re flagged for holding or a false start, but whenever Lane Johnson is in the lineup, we don’t mention the pass rushers on the other side of the ball either.

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Perhaps we’re spoiled. We expect Lane to dominate because that’s what he always does, but no one second-guesses his value. He’s been a favorite of ours for a while because he’s both flawed and perfect, but above all else, for lack of a better term, he’s real.

Knowing that only adds to his legacy. He isn’t just a football player. He’s a hero, and even though we throw that word around loosely sometimes, the former Oklahoma Sooner and future Hall of Famer (yeah, we said it) is most certainly a hero. He’s saving lives sometimes without even knowing that’s what he’s doing.