Former Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon must be living the same year over and over again. In what is now an annual event, Gordon is now eligible to play in the NFL.
Josh Gordon Reinstatement Day should be an NFL holiday. It has all the makings of one.
It’s an annual event. Fans ponder and celebrate what adding Gordon to their team might mean. For me, it is an annual article and twitter debate over whether or not Josh Gordon is still a viable NFL receiver.
It is like that movie Groundhog Day where Bill Murray wakes up morning only to find it is the exact same day as yesterday. Or like the Matrix where Keanu Reeve’s character Neo sees the same cat twice and says, “oh, deja vu”.
Josh Gordon’s reinstatement happens annually. It happens the exact same way. It’s so usual and mundane, it hits you like deja vu.
It’s like when you tell your buddy Gordon is back in the league and he responds, “Josh Gordon is reinstated again? Really? I thought he just got reinstated.” Then you have to respond, “No that was last year.”
Just like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween and New Years, the Josh Gordon reinstatement is an annual time honored tradition. Like the ancient Greek myth of Persephone whose return from the underworld brings fertility in the Spring. Reinstatement Day is a yearly tradition in which teams willing to take a chance on once great but lately pedestrian wide receiver hope to find Spring on the field.
The history of the return of Josh Gordon is long and varied. He has been suspended by the NFL five times over the past seven seasons. The most bizarre, yet most Josh Gordonesque, suspension came in 2020 when he was reinstated on December 3, 2020 only to have that reinstatement revoked for violating the terms of the reinstatement.
Yet, hope Springs eternal. Although it was probably best the Browns cut ties with Gordon, every year there is an Apostle of Gordon out there spreading the truth:
For every time Gordon is reinstated, there is a corresponding suspension. Every year he is reinstated then he is subsequently suspended later that season for violating the same league policy on substance abuse.
But this cycle of suspension-reinstatement-suspension is exactly what makes it worthy of holiday status. Persephone does not come back in the Spring unless she first goes into the underworld (i.e. die) in the winter. Bill Murray doesn’t wake up every day on Groundhog Day unless he first goes to sleep or kills himself. Mr. Anderson doesn’t become Neo unless he first takes the red pill to see how far the rabbit hole goes. It’s the death of one life that leads to the resurrection of the new one.
It’s the cycle of death and resurrection er . . . suspension and reinstatement that makes Gordon such a mythical creature. Gordon has not played an entire NFL season since 2012, yet fans and general managers continue to worship at his altar believing he can bring new life to their NFL franchise. In the end, he only brings their death.
Some year, Josh Gordon will fail to be reinstated only to be suspended again. At that point, we will miss the deja vu. We will all realize that the NFL has a glitch in its matrix.
This is why it is vital that we establish Josh Gordon Reinstatement Day as a holiday now. We need a day to remind us to tell the tale of how the great Josh Gordon dominated the league while high on marijuana, to tell the exploits of how back in the year 2013 Gordon made the Pro Bowl and was All-Pro (the only time in his career) and to tell of his consecutive 200 yard receiving games back in 2012. We must tell the tale to keep the myth alive.
Celebrate Josh Gordon Reinstatement Day. Lest we forget how Josh Gordon died so the Browns might live.