I know he will never read this.. but what the hell….
Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon, unfortunately for all of the wrong reasons, is in the news again because of a failed drug test. He failed an alcohol test that was apparently administered shortly after the season had come to an end for the Browns in early January. He posted an article to The Cauldron today in response to all of the criticism he has received as a result of the failed test. HOF NBA player Charles Barkley tweeted that he feared that Gordon would die if he didn’t change his ways, ESPN’s Steven A Smith said he was “done” with Josh, and HOF NFL Receiver Cris Carter showed concern for his well being because there were no winners in Gordon failing another test. He responded to all of this criticism in a very public manner, of which he had no obligation to do so, and he called out all three individuals to the carpet, and in this humble fan’s opinion, justifiably so.
Now I am not a Josh Gordon apologist, not by any means, because on more than one occasion during my live SportsNerds Show (Sunday’s at 7pm) I have called him out and vented my disgust at the opportunity I thought he was wasting due to his talent, call it God-given, call it what you want, there is no doubting the level of talent the kid has, but time after time his actions have shown that he may have a problem with substance abuse. After reading this article I am having a bit of a change in heart, not completely mind you, because we have yet to see the fall out of this most recent incident. I am however finding myself having second thoughts about not wanting him to be a member of the Cleveland Browns. Now I am just a fan, a nobody, someone that has followed the Browns for most of my 48+ years on this planet, but I have a vested interest in the Browns because of my dedication, my support, and my love for the city of Cleveland, despite the fact we have not seen a championship in that town in over 50 years.
That being said, I wish Mr. Gordon well in his struggle to overcome what is before him, and I hope he can find the right path to getting through this. but I also want to say that there have been many a player that had to battle with addiction, challenges, and injury to eventually have a hall of fame career, and he is no different than those individuals, Cris Cater being one of them. Carter’s life is no secret, we all know from his HOF speech last year what he had to go through, what he had to overcome and the lessons he learned along the way. I urge Mr. Gordon to actually seek him out and talk to him, to get advice from him, and to understand where HE came from. You see Josh, your story is not different from a lot of people that have played professional sports. Your story is not unique, and you are not the only one to have to battle these demons, whether they be demons or just mistakes, it doesn’t matter. You will find that a lot of it has to do with decisions, choices, and responsibility for those that you make, and after reading that article, I can see that you are doing just that, and for that I commend you.
Know this, I will continue to root for you to overcome your bad choices whether you are a member of the team in 2015 or not, but at the same time I will also tell you that your article, while it was well written, and coherent, also shows an underlying denial that you don’t have an addiction. I disagree, and the reason I disagree is because you keep making the same bad choices over and over again. Until you can make the right choices in life, whether it be drugs, alcohol, or what color socks to wear in the morning, you will continue to remain in denial and that is the biggest mistake you can make. You have overcome your environment growing up, you have overcome poverty, and you have been a successful NFL Player when you are able to show your talents o the field. But until you succeed at life, become a good person, make the right choices, decide that you are going to walk THIS path instead of THAT one, you will not overcome your addictions. I am not calling you an addict of any one particular substance, and you say you are a social drinker and have not smoked since before you were drafted. Fine, I’ll take you on your word, but the evidence of your addictions are in the failed tests you have taken, and until you can stay clean, no one, not even me, will believe you.
I admire you coming out publicly and answering you critics, but do us fans a favor and stop talking and start showing how good of a person and a player you can be. No more “excuses”, HOF players don’t make excuses, they just go out and do it. You have a long career ahead of you, barring injury, and I strongly urge you to take advantage of that opportunity and live up to your potential. Look to your team members, the ones you respect, look to others that have gone through similar situations and life choices, you will learn from them, they will advise you, and steer you in the right direction. As someone that has also made some bad decisions in my life, I hope you can find the people in your life that can help guide you through these troubled issues and times, because this Browns fan is rooting for you.