There are times when not working for a newspaper is an advantage. Not only do I not have to meet deadlines– or deal with editors– I don’t even have to obey the normal rules of journalism.
On September 21, Puff Gordon– after an arrest warrant had been issued– complied with the court order to submit his DNA for testing.
I mistrust all coincidences– especially the ones connected to people like Puff.
DNA testing for paternity is normally conducted by using a cheek swab– but it can be done with a blood draw. Presumably the lab reported “Yes, you’re the baby’s father– and by the way, your cells have more THC than some of the nickel bags they sell at 45th and Clark.”
I’m not going to check the basic agreement– not worth it in this situation– but the old one used to say if you were on the NFL’s druggie list, and you had medical treatment, you were obligated to give your doctor or hospital a form directing the release of relevant information to the NFL.
Or it might be that the lab would had to report the results– all of them– to the court.
In any case, the news that Puff was still (in the words of Jim Morrison) “Stoned– immaculate” was going to break in a day or two so he and his scumbag agent Drew Rosenhaus hustled his ass into rehab, hoping it would matter.
Since I never– not for one second– thought Puff was clean, this is not a surprise. People who have gotten clean and sober never hang out with Johnny Manziel. You don’t need to know a lot about addiction to figure out why– even a reporter assigned to the Cleveland Browns beat should be able to get it.
Since I never had any fantasies about him catching passes from RGIII– I knew they both wouldn’t be capable to take the field at the same time– I am not disappointed.
My only interest in Puff was as trade bait. On that count, I am disappointed. They can’t trade him now; if he returns, his value is gone.
The basic agreement does not say a player is suspended for a year. It says he is suspended for life— but he has the option to apply for readmission after a year. The Commissioner doesn’t have to give it to him, however. Roger Goodell has been very nice to Puff– too nice by half– and I’m sure he will keep Puff out all of this season and all the next.
The Browns won’t want him– and nobody else will offer anything. They might as well release him now– they’ll never get a thing for him.
The big loser in this? Sash-O Marx of the Marx Brothers. After Puff caught a couple of passes in pre-season– and teams started sniffing around, looking for a bargain– Sash-O hooted and smirked about how much it would cost to get Puff. Harv-Baked alums weren’t stupid enough to let him go cheaply.
The only problem is that the Harv-Baked Boyz apparently don’t know squat about addiction. The idiots running the Browns keep thinking other clubs are lowballing them, because Josh Gordon is a Pro Bowl receiver, and he’s worth more than that.
The problem is that Josh Gordon died a few years ago, The guy under contract is an addict named “Puff”.
Puff isn’t an NFL wide receiver– he’s a guy who gets high. That is his job– to keep a nice buzz 24-7. He has a day job to fund his drug habit– but that’s a whole other deal.
Puff hasn’t stopped doing drugs, because he doesn’t want to. And until you get Puff completely detoxed– six months, maybe– Puff won’t let anyone talk to Josh.
Sash-O would have been smart to deal Puff– just like the Browns would have been better off to sell in 2013. But Cleveland kept saying “Let it ride”– without ever grasping that they couldn’t make that work without help from the player.
It wasn’t forthcoming– very likely, never will be.
PS: Will this event be the straw where we stop imagining Ray Rice Sr. can be a positive force in the lives of young players? Puff is the latest example of a player he took under his wing who blew up.
Rice Sr. has such poor control of his impulses that he’s loving the Browns one week and bashing them the next. Bernie Kosar at least is brain-damaged– and makes that clear every time he talks. But because Rice Sr. still looks imposing, people imagine that he is a better person than he actually is.
If I were making a list of people I’d want to have mentor your players, Rice Sr. wouldn’t make the top 1,000. If the list had to be drawn from the NFL leaders in career rushing yards, he’d be toward the bottom. (Third from the bottom– maybe a bit higher.)
I’d as soon send problem players to hang out with Reggie Rucker.