ALLEN PARK — Jason Hanson won’t have to wait long to be honored by the Detroit Lions, the team he was a part of for 21 seasons.
At the good-bye press conference on Tuesday, team president Tom Lewand announced that Hanson will be honored at a game at Ford Field this fall.
“I won’t say we ever took him for granted because we never did, but it became so common to have that unprecedented level of success,’’ Lewand said.
“That’s why it’s really easy for me to stand before you and announce that Jason will be the 14th member, the first one who’s not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, to join our ring of honor, the Pride of the Lions this fall. We look forward to a great celebration of his career,’’ Lewand added.
The 42-year-old Hanson prayed and wrestled with the decision to retire. He said in the end it was his heel pain that forced the decision.
The pain is in his plant foot — his left foot. He said it was plantar fascitis and he just no longer could play with the pain. The plant foot slams into the ground on every kick.
Hanson said it was not a contract issue.
Hanson choked up when he thanked his wife Kathleen and his three children — Ryan, 17; Jessica, 13; and Luke, 10. He recovered in time to thank everyone involved in his career over such a span of time.
Bill Ford Jr., represented his father, the owner, at the press conference.
“A whole generation of Lions fans there’s been one kicker. That’s been true in my family as well when I think of my children and my nieces and nephews, they’ve known one kicker,’’ Ford said. “As Tom (Lewand) said we have collectively taken it for granted to a certain point. No matter how disappointing the season you could always count on Jason doing his part and a little more.’’
Ford, Lewand and coach Jim Schwartz all discussed Hanson’s qualities as a kicker and also as a person.