Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Stranger things have happened

First, it was the Browns drafting Johnny Manziel in early May.

Then LeBron James decided earlier this month he had been away long enough and chose to return home and rejoin the Cavaliers.

Cleveland, the city where bad luck seems to have taken up permanent residence, is on an extremely positive sports roll as improbable as that seems.

With that in mind, the belief in that roll could be furthered if the National Football League determines Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon will not be suspended indefinitely for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.

That’s a big if, of course, but the way the Cleveland sports scene has been kissed recently by good fortune, anything is possible.

Gordon and his agent have hired two prominent attorneys to plead his case to the NFL. Where the league lands depends on whether those barristers can find flaws in either the administration of – or subsequent conclusions to – his drug tests.

If you believe in karma (and Cleveland sports seem to have it at least for the time being), don’t rule out the distinct possibility, as opposed to the distinct probability, that Gordon’s punishment will be at least reduced if not tossed.

How deaf, dumb and blind the league is in this matter will be the determining factor. In light of the embarrassing length of the Ray Rice suspension – talk about sending the wrong message – for slugging his then-fiancĂ©e and now wife, this one can go either way.

Coming so closely on the heels of the Rice verdict just might have an effect on how the league falls in the Gordon matter. The PR fallout in the Rice suspension has the league in scrambling and defense mode.

If Gordon comes out of this relatively clean and plays at least half the 2014 season, that previously mentioned Cleveland roll gains new momentum. At that point, it’s anyone’s guess where that will lead. 


  1. All these talking heads keep saying that the Ray Rice situation will have no bearing on the Gordon situation, but, come on, a blind man could that it has to. Every player/owner conduct decision passed down by Lord Goodell will be measured against the Rice decision. Can you imagine the sh*t storm created by Goodell if he hands Gordon anything longer than, say 4 games tops? Olberman (whether you like him or not) commented last night that the Rice decision is the kind that ends careers. Not too many tears would be shed if this was, in fact, the end result.

    It's mercenary (or worse) to say it, but have Browns fans (including me) ever been happier that a woman was knocked out cold? Shameful, but true. It's almost like being happy for Haslam's escape (so it seems) from indictment. Thanks! Paul from Seattle

    1. Hi Paul,

      This blind man sees no relationship between the Rice and Gordon situations. Southie is correct. Goodell is not handling this one. The Rice decision will come back some day and bite the commish on the hind flanks.

      I like Olbermann (that's two ens). Some of his rants are epic.

      And shame on you and any Browns fan happy Rice struck that woman. Had that been a member of the Browns, you wouldn't be talking that way.

  2. Except for one thing. Goodell isn't on this one. He has appointed Harold Henderson to hear the appeal, and his reputation for leniency is not good. The bigger impact should be from the Irsay situation which blatantly exposes the NFL's double standard approach when it comes to owner vs. player punishment. The deck is stacked against Gordon so don't get your hopes up. As for Rice, why are you surprised? Ray Lewis(with Modell's money) pleaded his way out of a double murder charge and is lined up for the Hall of Fame.

    1. Sorry for the tardy reply, Southie. Out of town for a while.

      Modell's money had nothing to do with Lewis. Those decisions were adjudicated on a much, much higher level. Truth be known, Modell wasn't that wealthy. If he was, he never would have moved the team to Baltimore and eventually sell it to Steve Biscotti.