***THIS STORY WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN 2014. WE HAVE REPOSTED IT IN ITS ENTIRELY WITH ZERO EDITS***
He could have had it all. He could have lived the dream that so many people long for. A life full of money, fame, respect and a city, state and league that support every move you make. He could have had a career that inspires young men to strive to be like you. These opportunities aren’t given to all of us. Furthermore, these opportunities do not happen ever again. Josh Gordon took this golden ticket, rolled it up and smoked it.
I am not going to sit here and pontificate about the danger or drugs or crow on about how marijuana is basically legal anyways so what is the harm. No, this story is not about either of those topics. This story is about a young man who won’t realize exactly what he just threw away until years from now.
You see, this is the end of Josh Gordon. Yeah I am sure someday he will be reinstated and get a tryout somewhere and maybe even make another NFL team. Hell, “Big” Mike Williams had a brief renaissance didn’t he? But this is the end of Josh Gordon- Superstar NFL Player. Nobody questions his ability or what he is capable of doing on the football field. He put all of those questions to rest in fourteen games last season. But Josh Gordon will never again have the trust of teammates, coaches, front office personnel and worst of all fans. He will lose his job, jersey sales will now plummet and dynasty leagues will drop him as soon as his suspension becomes official.
Nobody likes to follow the rules. Rules suck. But they are in place to test us of our will, our desire and our commitment to aspiring to be all that we can be. Society filters out winners from losers by putting rules in place. Being on time for work, not taking home a ream of paper from the supply closet and puffing instead of passing when your buddy tokes up are just a few of the rules to advancing your career. It is shameful how few people actually follow them.
The part of Josh Gordon’s story that is dumfounding is that all he needed to do was stay clean for 5-7 years and he could have spent the rest of his life never having to pay for another dime-bag again.
As it turns out Josh Gordon will indeed be an inspiration to young athletes and young people everywhere. It just won’t be for what he could do on the football field. The Josh Gordon story is one that years from now will be told to every NFL rookie after every NFL Draft. They will point to him working at some tire shop in either Houston or Cleveland and tell the story of how for one season he was one of the best players in the NFL. They will show the endorsement deals he had signed, they will bring in former personnel directors to admit to the money they would have paid for Gordon back in 2013 and they will urge their new employees to not throw away the opportunity they have before them.
Yeah he will be an inspiration alright but that is little retribution for the Cleveland Browns organization and fans who had become so excited by the brighter future that Gordon presented.
Smoke up Josh…hope it was worth it.