Throwing it All Away
I’m not sure whether the saga of Cleveland Brown’s receiver Josh Gordon make me angry or sad. I guess if I truly look inward it’s a bit of both. The NFL on Wednesday upheld the suspension of the Brown’s Pro Bowl receiver for the entire 2014 NFL season for another failed test for marijuana, which Gordon had appealed on Aug. 4. In case your not familiar with Josh Gordon, he’s an incredibly talented athlete who seems destined down a path of self destruction, and that makes me sad. That someone with such God-given natural ability doesn’t seem willing to change his ways and seems destined to throw everything away for a chance to get high, well, that makes me mad. His latest offense occurred when Gordon was pulled over at 3 a.m. for speeding, then arrested for driving while intoxicated. That arrest followed an arrest in May when he was pulled over for speeding with a passenger who had marijuana in his possession. Last season he served a two-game drug suspension as well, and yet he still led the league in receiving yards.
If you haven’t seen Josh Gordon on the field you’re really missing out on watching a talent like few others we’ve seen – and now it will be at least another year before you can watch him perform his craft, unless he follows through with his threat to head north of the border to play for the CFL and you have a television football package that I don’t have in my home.
This isn’t a little blip on the radar screen for Gordon, its a pattern that has now become solid. While at Baylor in October 2010, during his sophomore year, he and teammate Willie Jefferson were found asleep in the drive through at a Waco Taco Bell. Police found pot in the car and Jefferson was kicked off the team due to it being his second violation, but Gordon was only suspended. Then in July 2011 Gordon was suspended indefinitely by Bears head coach Art Briles for failing a drug test and testing positive for marijuana, missing out on RG 3’s Heisman Trophy winning campaign. One month later Gordon transferred to Utah where he failed another drug test, never played a down for the Utes and then applied for the 2012 NFL supplemental draft.
“I’d like to apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Cleveland Browns organization and our fans,” Gordon said in a statement released by the NFL Players Association this week. “I am very disappointed that the NFL and its hearing office didn’t exercise better discretion and judgment in my case. I would like to sincerely thank the people who have been incredibly supportive of me during this challenging time, including my family, my agent, my union, my legal team, and the Cleveland Browns staff.”
I think that statement speaks volumes as to Josh Gordon’s state of mind. He’s disappointed that the league didn’t use better judgement by suspending him for the season, not in his actions. He said he’s sorry to everyone that NFLPA told him to apologize to, but didn’t take responsibility for his own missteps, or show any indication that he is willing to seek the help he so obviously needs. And until he does I don’t see this story line taking a new direction any time soon.