The “Help” Josh Gordon Really Needs

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Josh Gordon needs help. This has been a common sentence bandied about the vacuum of opinions we call the Internet ever since the news came down that the gazelle-like receiver might have failed yet another drug test. And he does. There is no denying that Gordon’s choice of recreational activities since his college days have been sub par, and it is somewhat unthinkable that he ever made it to the hollowed football fields of the NFL. Whatever your stance on the sticky icky is, the NCAA and NFL don’t take kindly to it being in your system, though Gordon’s issues aren’t only relegated to a somewhat illegal plant. Getting a DWI while driving a vehicle registered to a former college basketball player who was once suspended by the NCAA and enjoys punching children out on the basketball court is a bad look.

But what “help” does Gordon need, exactly? Both fans and media alike concoct their own narratives about a person when the glimpses they get of his personal life are as short as Robot Chicken episode. Johnny Manziel has already been labeled a “binge drinker” and a 21-year old with an alcohol problem since he sprays bottles of champagne and has an affinity for floats of the swan variety. I’m pretty sure if the media was given access to my Thursday nights at the University of Missouri, they’d come up with all sorts of new words for my group of friends’ debauchery (my apologies to a certain bar’s bathroom floor and all of its patrons). We don’t see photos of what else Manziel does in his time away from the Browns facility because it would change the narrative. We want to paint Manziel as a drunken maniac who doesn’t actually care about football because it’s what we want to talk about, even if we know it’s not true.

WUOTEWe’ve done the same thing with Josh Gordon. We tend to imagine him at some packed club in Miami, puffing smoke rings into the air as music blares from the speakers loud enough to deafen an earthquake. But perhaps he was sitting quietly on his couch, firing up an episode of Orange is the New Black before hitting the proverbial hay. Regardless of the scene, or the environment, does a person need rehab for that? Do we all of the sudden need to treat him like a wide-eyed kitten stuck on a tree branch that is swaying in the wind? “Aw, poor guy. He needs help.”

Yes, Josh Gordon needs help, but maybe it’s not the kind of help we think. We tend to paint Gordon as a habitual drug user who just can’t keep his lungs away from the sweet serenades of Mary Jane, but with the news that he’s reportedly passed 70 drug tests this year, perhaps its time to change that narrative. Sure, when left to his own devices, Flash has made decisions that are not conducive to the rules and regulations the NFL has in place. If he is indeed suspended for any amount of time, his own devices will be all he has. Maybe the help that Gordon need lies within the confines of Berea, OH, under the piercing eye of his stoic head coach and below the wing of his shut down cornerback teammate, who kicks it at the Barley House without anyone ever knowing.

Josh Gordon needs a routine. Josh Gordon needs structure. He needs friends who don’t have nicknames like “Fats.” He needs football. The less free time he has to flutter his millions about on whatever he chooses, like a camouflage Porsche, the better.

Who knows what the NFL will rule when it comes to Gordon. If he’s pushed out on his own once again, he must be smarter. There are plenty of us who think this cold, hard world will crush him once he’s tossed out in to it by the scruff of his neck. But maybe the narrative will change. Maybe that help we so desperately want Gordon to find has found its way to him. Maybe it’s time to rewrite the narrative.

(Photo: Scott Sargent/WFNY)

  • Harv 21

    “Josh Gordon needs a routine. Josh Gordon needs structure. He needs
    friends who don’t have nicknames like ‘Fats.’ He needs football. The
    less free time he has to flutter his millions about on whatever he
    chooses, like a camouflage Porsche, the better.”

    OK, Jordan, “we” don’t know him at all, but you do? He’s tested positive in-season, in the structured, cloistered world of pro athletes, with dudes scheduling him, feeding him, probably wiping him. Sorry, your theory is no less random as me saying what he needed was a father, or a body not predisposed to addiction, or more stimulating wallpaper in his man cave.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    It’s always a shame when talent is wasted especially for drugs or alcohol but clearly this guy hasn’t gotten the message. Between Baylor and his various issues since being with the Browns not much, it seems, has changed. I’d hate to see him lost for an entire season speaking as a football fan but as a person perhaps that’s just what he needs. Then again being away from the structure of a football season may not be the best thing either like Jordan wrote.

  • mgbode

    he was also in the supplemental draft because Utah had tired of trying to fix him too.

  • mgbode

    I agree that he needs help, but noone likely knows what help he truly needs or what is going to get him on a path to NFL success (or if that is even the path that he needs to be on). That includes Josh.

    It’s obvious that he is continually making bad decisions for his NFL career when he knows the stakes (or should know the stakes). It is much less obvious that a harsh penalty will help correct those decisions. Or, a light penalty. Or forced rehabilitation time. Or anything other measure. The hope is that something does work, the light comes on, and Josh figures out how to make better decisions.

    And, the better decisions have nothing to do with anyone’s thoughts on pot itself. Taking prescription medication (or purple drank) without checking with the NFL, driving with friends who have pot on them, getting a DWI. These are all poor decisions as well. You can make a couple (we all make mistakes), but when they are consistent, it becomes a pattern of behavior.

  • RGB

    Dude, got a pot leaf tattoo.
    He thinks weed is important enough to get it permanently put on his body.

  • switcherdawna

    Suspending a player hurts his team, his team’s fans, and his family. Fine him heavily…. but let him play. If he can deal with the embarrassment of playing each week with everyone looking sideways at him, maybe that would be a big motivator too… and a constant reminder to others about the prohibited substances. Personally though, unless they can figure he’s a regular user of grass, he’s no worse than an occasional drinker.

  • The_Real_Shamrock
  • The_Real_Shamrock

    He’s had plenty of chances to get it already. We’ll see tomorrow.

  • RGB

    Can’t see it from that angle.

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    “hollowed football fields”

  • Sam Gold

    I prefer convex.

  • Garry_Owen

    No worse, except, you know, the occasional grass is still, like, illegal.

  • switcherdawna

    If you have a small amount of it (in Canada at least), you only get a relatively small fine… if that.

  • mgbode

    if you are playing in the NFL, then it can cost you $60mil. just ask Gordon (or Blackmon).

  • mgbode

    that is what we are going to do to Pitt’s field this year!!!

  • Garry_Owen

    Well, Canada . . .

  • bossman09

    So here is the problem – 70 tests is one a week for 18 months. He is obviously no binge smoking on a regular basis. That can be thrown out the window. He has also been pictured less that Manziel for binge drinking (ZERO) and his DUI was for .09 which means he was illegal, but not a .25 you get for drinking right from the bottle of Vodka. The dude doesn’t know how to manage his life in an NFL appropriate way, but he is hardly jumping off a cliff an 90 MPH either. I can imaging it’s hard to break your life cycle when it’s always had delinquents in it (I mean the real kind, not the college drinking kind that all turn into well adjusted professionals). Josh probably has the worst kind of problem – it’s a 25% kind. If it was a hard core addition, you could attack it as a clear problem. The 25% kind means you are mostly functional, but there is just enough bad to get you into real trouble. Hard to really pin point and correct (how many times can you hang out with the bad crowd – not do anything wrong – but be found guilty by association). Ask Joe Haden. He has said many time that he had a hard time transitioning from party boy to full time NFL professional and he probably had a 10% problem.

  • Hopwin
  • RGB

    I was was thinking about the leaf next to the koi fish…

  • The_Real_Shamrock
  • Paulie Carbone

    Nobody needs rehab for weed. They shouldn’t even test for it.

  • whosevelt

    “He needs friends who don’t have nicknames like ‘Fats’…”
    This is an unfair and gratuitous jibe.
    –Fats Finkelstein, attorney-at-law

  • Mad_Elf

    “We don’t see photos of what else Manziel does in his time away from the Browns facility because it would change the narrative”


  • CK1

    All Gordon needs to do is make the decision he really WANTS to change his life. Without that, none of the aforementioned avenues will work. He has a lot of potential. I hope he doesn’t squander his talent and live to regret losing this chance to be special in the NFL.