NFL Loses a Superstar
Josh Gordon is neither Calvin Johnson nor Andre Johnson in his prime nor Michael Irvin nor Jerry Rice nor countless other superstars. He is not the most elite player to grace the field or the best of his generation. What he does have is talent. Not a little bit of talent to go with a hard working attitude, but a lot of talent.
Gordon broke into the league in 2012 with 805 yards on 50 catches for a very pedestrian Cleveland Browns team. He followed that up with a league leading 1646 yards in just 14 games in 2013 after serving a two game suspension. Many felt his chances to repeat this feat were strong in 2014 thus cementing him as one of the elite receivers in the NFL. However, he got in his own way.
In July of this year, he was arrested for a DUI. The league decided today that he would be suspended for the entire 2014 season. It was a hard stance by the NFL because by all accounts this is a budding superstar for a franchise that hasn't had one since their return to the NFL in 1999. A franchise historically relevant but stuck in mediocrity since their return to the league, Gordon is a chance for the city of Cleveland and the NFL to have a win.
The NFL drug policy is needs updating, but Gordon was already in the substance abuse program as mandated by the NFL. He should have known the repercussions for his actions, yet still put himself in this position. In no way can it be assumed that Gordon was unaware of the ramifications of his actions.
This goes into the exact policy that will prevent Gordon at this moment from taking the next step to becoming an NFL superstar. Fans have short term memories and would have looked past the two game suspension from last year. However, the news of this suspension couldn't come at a worse time for this young man. Cleveland Brown fans will be left with the what if in the back of their heads all season.
If this team comes within a game or two of the playoffs, they will be left with a sour taste in their mouth of a young player doing the selfish thing. If he had been on the field, could we have made the playoffs? It is a thought that will permeate a fan base very hungry for a playoff berth.
Josh Gordon is undeniably a great talent, but he is in fact a talent, not yet a superstar. His own actions may have cost himself the opportunity to ever see this come into reality.