The Curse of Josh Gordon (Part III)
Surprise, surprise. Josh Gordon is going to miss the beginning of training camp.
For those behind the curve, Josh Gordon is a Wide Receiver for the Cleveland Browns that made the Pro Bowl in 2013 while doing a mountain of drugs resulting in numerous suspensions. As soon as Josh Gordon was eligible to play in 2017, I was in the vast minority in begging the Browns to trade him, ASAP.
Why doesn't anyone but me want to get rid of Josh Gordon? Because he has elite talent. If drugs were out of the equation, he could have been the best wide receiver of his generation. What's my beef with Gordon? While he was doing an extensive amount of drugs, the Browns were the worst team in the league. Since Jimmy Haslam has owned the team, there has only been ONE player that's been a constant through the rotating door of players in Berea and that's Gordon. Of the literally hundreds of players that have played for the Browns since 2012, Jimmy Haslam tried to hitch his wagon to Football's Version of Steve Howe....
Steve Howe's earned run average for the Los Angeles Dodgers was around 2.50 his first four years in the league. In 1980 he was the National League Rookie of the Year, in 1981 he was a World Series Champion, and in 1982 he was a National League All Star. In 1984, at the age of 25, Steve Howe was suspended from the league for a year. It was the first of his SEVEN suspensions. The Dodgers didn't wait for Steve Howe---
Before I can even finish my story, cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot is chirping at me that drug abuse is a disease, not unlike cancer. Okay, I'll listen to the argument that addiction is a disease, but it ain't like cancer.
Steve Howe went on to have a number of mediocre years with a handful of teams before catching lightning in a bottle in 1991 with the New York Yankees. By 1992, he was the first player in Major League Baseball to receive a lifetime ban due to drug use. Somehow, despite a lifetime ban, Howe returned to post an 1.80 during the 1994 season. When all was said and done, Howe had played 12 seasons over a 17 year career.
Steve Howe died in a one-car accident with Meth in his system about a decade after he had made about $10 Million in career earnings. In the early 80's all people could talk about was his talent. In the 90's, all people could talk about was the suspensions.
....if Josh Gordon was a scrub wide receiver, he wouldn't have even been drafted with his litany of problems. If Josh Gordon was an average wide receiver, he would have been out of the league after year 1. If Josh Gordon was a good wide receiver, he would have been out of the league after year 3. (The average length of an NFL career is 3.3 years.) But because he has elite talent, sycophants and apologists continue to grant Gordon chance after chance.
If the NFL was a progressive workplace, that would be one thing, but the NFL is a meat grinder. Josh Gordon is an anomaly insomuch as he continues to flunk drug tests, but he's still around. Martellus Bennett estimates that almost 90% of NFL'ers smoke marijuana, yet somehow they all pass the drug tests. How did Gordon flunk so many? Because he was on EVERY drug.
I'm not a Puritan and I understand there is some medicinal usage of certain prescriptions. People do have addictions and people do have anxiety, but that's not what's going on at the Gordon Camp. Bottom line, Josh Gordon is a knucklehead.