Josh Gordon: The Battle Off The Field #StoryTimeWithEarl

By Earl Bennett

After being released I found myself in Cleveland. A city with similar die hard fans like Chicago, thirsting for a Super Bowl. I joined a receiver corps that was led by Josh Gordon, who was by far the best athletic specimen I had seen in my life. Gordon’s skills on the field were obvious, but a conversation with him shed light on a turbulent career. 

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After getting settled and adjusted the first week I found myself outside of the meeting room waiting with Gordon for the coaches. My wife and I had just settled into our home in Houston and that was an icebreaker for me knowing Gordon was from the city. We spoke briefly about the city and I asked him if he went back often and his response was disheartening. Gordon said that if he went back home he would be on the corner drinking a 40 and smoking cigarettes. A statement you would not expect from a guy who just led the NFL in receiving yards.  The words he expressed hinted that his battle with substances were rooted deeper than the surface. 

There are very few “special” players in the league who excel beyond the norm in the NFL. Gordon is one of those guys. His physical attributes combined with ball skills were unmatched. But, clearly his past continues to haunt him.  A player of Gordon’s magnitude should be in Hall of Fame contention. Unfortunately, the battle to defeat his past continues, and we pray Gordon is able to fend off his latest transgressions. 

Earl B. Bennett

About Earl B. Bennett

Earl B. Bennett is a retired NFL Wide Receiver who played six seasons with the Chicago Bears.