Sunday, July 6, 2014

Josh Gordon’s defining moment

Josh Gordon has finally forced the hand of the Browns. After his DWI arrest at 4 in the morning a couple of days ago, the club has no choice. Definitive action must be taken. Now. 

The question is down what road does the club travel to resolve what has turned out to be a gigantic headache.

It’s bad enough the team might lose the services of the All-Pro wide receiver for at least one season to drug abuse violations. The latest incident amounts to piling on.

There seems to be no question that Gordon needs help. His constant partnering trouble has become much more than an annoyance. It has become habitual. He needs help. From himself.

A plea from former teammate D’Qwell Jackson couldn’t have said it any better. Jackson, now with the Indianapolis Colts, tweeted, “If you’re close to Josh Gordon, please help this kid. It’s not about football anymore. It’s about picking up the pieces of his life.”

Jackson is right. This is no longer about football. It’s about life and the choices we make in life that help steer us in the proper direction.

Right now, it would be easy for the Browns to write Gordon off and cut him loose. Nice and clean. He has accumulated more than three strikes. Such a move would be considered understandable.

But if the club still has any interest in keeping him, they need to hire a babysitter. An around-the-clock babysitter. Someone who monitors Gordon’s movements at all times; someone who knows the difference between right and wrong.

If the team's intentions are to make certain this troubled young man does not completely destroy whatever he has amassed thus far, that’s what needs to be done.

There are those who will cry loudly to release Gordon. Cut him pronto. Get rid of him before he further embarrasses, in no particular order, the team, the City of Cleveland, the National Football League and his teammates.

It’s extremely tempting to fall in line with those who believe Gordon playing elsewhere in the NFL is addition by subtraction for the Browns. He should be someone else’s problem, not the Browns’.

One would think that by now, at the age of 23, after already being kicked out of two colleges and running into scrapes with the law, the light would finally go on for him. Instead, it keeps bashing him on the noggin.

There is no question he needs guidance, help, anything to help him find a path in life that will lead him out of the abyss into which he has fallen. Only problem is he doesn’t see it that way.

Judging from reports, Gordon surrounds himself with the wrong people. With enablers who apparently believe his abundant talent protects him from being harmed.

Makes no difference how well he catches passes. Makes no difference how easily he gets open to catch those passes. This young man needs help and he needs it yesterday.

If the Browns have no intention of delivering that help, then by all means release him because keeping him and hoping he will eventually straighten himself out is not going to work.

Gordon has been lectured by those who have already traveled down the wrong path before turning around their careers. It is abundantly apparent those words went in one ear and out the other.

The glory he rightfully received last season is meaningless now. The game of life is played on a much larger stage than the game of football. And it’s painfully obvious he does not realize it.

In his world, doing the wrong thing supersedes football.  It’s almost as though he believes he is entitled. He’s not. For whatever reason, trouble keeps finding him and he doesn’t know how to handle it.

There are defining moments in every person’s life. What happens next very well could be the defining moment in Gordon’s life that will determine where he eventually winds up.

For the Browns’ sake, as well as the young man’s, that direction had better be the correct one.

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