Sports Columns: Josh Gordon’s Biggest Obstacle


AP Photo/Tony Dejak

The NFL has recently announced Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon’s one-year suspension for repeated drug use will be upheld.

This decision has been long-awaited, since Gordon’s short-sighted appeal claiming his positive test was a result of second-hand smoke early this month. Gordon was suspended for his most recent violation of the NFL’s strict no drug policy a few months ago.

Gordon can be reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as early as the end of this season.

This is certainly no guarantee as Gordon will have to keep himself out of trouble and give Goodell an indication that he is worth taking a chance on given his prior substance abuse history.

This isn’t the first time Gordon has had trouble staying on the field because of his substance abuse. His laundry list of problems have been in the public eye since his 2011 season with Baylor. However, it’s Gordon’s unworldly talent that allowed him to be drafted in 2012 and has since made him one of the top receivers in the NFL.

Gordon was reminded of the NFL’s substance abuse policy early last season when he was suspended for two games after  testing positive for marijuana, although Gordon blamed the positive test on cough syrup.

Gordon was still able to rack up more that 1,600 yards, nearly 90 receptions,and 9 touchdowns with one of the worst group of quarterbacks for the Browns, headed by the likes of Brian Hoyer, Jason Campbell, and Brandon Weeden despite a shortened season.

The one thing that is getting in the way of Josh Gordon’s success is his own self-destructive, vicious cycle.

Gordon has set himself up for temporary success, followed by impending tear-downs of his own career. At this point, he looks like a guy that always had the potential and had flashes of that potential, but until he is able to handle his clear substance abuse it seems the only thing he will live up to is his convenient  nickname: “Flash Gordon.”

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