So Josh Gordon failed a drug test earlier this month. Like the 100th of his career.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) January 25, 2015
His last “failed” situation, a DWI in July, earned him a season-long suspension. With 3 games left, that suspension was lifted. He played a couple games. Then he was suspended, again, by the Browns for the final game of the season.
As you know, these routinely failed tests have earned him mountains of criticism. Like. Mountains. People going on rants, crying, saying they love him but hate him, saying it’s the greatest waste of talent in the history of the NFL, and on and on and on. Well, Gordon as responded to that criticism in an open letter addressed to Sir Charles, Stephen A., Cris and other interested parties.
Here is how he describes how the latest failed test unfolded.
On Jan. 2 of this year, just days after our season ended earlier than we all had hoped — and yes, my actions during the prior offseason definitely contributed to our failure to make the playoffs; it killed me seeing our guys fight so hard when I wasn’t out there with them — I boarded a private flight to Las Vegas with several teammates. During the flight, I had two beers and two drinks. It was the first time I had consumed so much as a drop of alcohol since July 4, 2014, the day of the DWI.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am not much of a drinker. Even calling me a social drinker would be an exaggeration, but at that moment, on that flight, I made a choice. The wrong choice, as it turned out.
Upon landing, I received the all-too-familiar notice by phone that I was to report to a testing location within four hours. I failed the test, obviously, and the rest is history … colored by media speculation and faux outrage.
Okay, believable. I’m not hook, line and sinker, but it’s believable. Please, go on.
I am a human being, with feelings and emotions and scars and flaws, just like anyone else. I make mistakes — I have made a lot of mistakes — but I am a good person, and I will persevere.
If I have a “problem,” it is that I am only 23 years old — with a lot left to learn. I’ve come a long way from those mean Fondren streets, but it’s clear that I can be a better me — one who kids coming up to me for selfies and autographs can be proud of. I want that future for myself. And I truly believe that what I am going through right now will only make me stronger. I believe that my future is bright.
You’re a human being? Excellent. Good to know.
Look, it’s easy to hop on the jump-on-Josh-Gordon’s-idiocy bandwagon. Very easy. But sometimes I just feel bad for this guy. He really doesn’t seem like a bad guy. He likes drugs. He likes beer (kinda, I guess?). He sells cars when he gets suspended. He scores touchdowns like a machine. He’s likable. So I don’t know what to make of this letter.
I like that he wrote it. I like that a lot. I like that he addressed people individually, which he did (in the full letter). But, ultimately, I don’t think it will matter. This guy has a DWI. This guy has multiple suspensions for failed drug tests. This guy is facing a one-year ban, and he’ll get it. And that’ll likely be it for him in Cleveland.
Maybe that’s a good thing for Gordon? I don’t know. But I wish him well. I really do. He seems like a good dude — an idiot — but a good dude, nonetheless. #PrayForJoshGordon