America loves a good comeback story. And there's not much of a better comeback than Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu. The Honey Badger was kicked out of LSU after a Heisman finalist season, left the game of football for a year, got his life together and emerged as an impact rookie before tearing his ACL in 2013.
"No one could tell me anything when I was going through it; I had to figure it out for myself. Hopefully he will get the point," Mathieu said. "Hopefully he will get the message, but most of the time it takes for people to hit rock bottom for them to start believing in their self and start seeking help. A lot of people can reach out to you but that doesn't mean you always take that help and take that advice. He just has to want it for himself."
I say "sort of" because there's no real "advice" in there from Mathieu. But there shouldn't be: the best he can do is relate his own story and hope Gordon will find a similar path. He has walked the path and understands what needs to happen for Gordon to emerge.
"You have to weigh your pros and your cons. What do you want to be in life and who do you not want to be in life?" Mathieu said. "You have to add all of those things up. I'm pretty sure who you want to be in life will weigh a lot more than who you don't want to be in life. Hopefully he can get that.
"I'm still young myself; I don't know too much about it but I do know that it takes a lot to look in that mirror and fix yourself."
Gordon's going to get a chance to look in the mirror: he dealt with a two-game suspension to start 2013 -- and still managed to lead the league in receiving! -- and now faces the possibility of a season-long ban from the NFL in 2014.
His appeal is set for late July but he managed to get arrested for DUI and speeding in North Carolina over the Fourth of July weekend (while driving a car owned by Hornets rookie P.J. Hairston).
Everyone has an opinion on what the Browns should do with Gordon, but Mathieu is spot on: there's nothing that will change until Gordon's willing to change himself. We'll see if that happens.