How Browns Receiver Josh Gordon Reclaimed Stardom

How Browns Receiver Josh Gordon Reclaimed Stardom

A fading star is poised to burn brighter than ever.
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Cleveland Browns Wide Receiver Josh Gordon has not played since 2014. He has missed 59 of the past 64 games. His constant struggle with drugs and alcohol left his future riddled with question marks, and the Browns were quickly moving past their young star receiver. Last year, Gordon checked himself into an in-patient rehabilitation facility, and with that move, many fans began to question if he will ever step on a field again.

After thousands of questions and doubts, Josh Gordon played football again. And on Sunday, it was proven that the Browns star receiver had returned to form, and he hadn’t skipped a beat.

After not playing in a professional football game for over three years, Josh Gordon’s expectations were incredibly hard to pinpoint. It was truly hard to understand if it was more appropriate to have incredibly low expectations or ridiculously high ones. Gordon’s extended absence from the game made it seem like the young receiver was on pace to post average numbers with a stellar performance. However, Josh Gordon does not embody the definition of “average”. In 2013, Gordon’s breakout season, the young receiver led the entire NFL in receiving yards with 1,646 yards, while only playing 14 out of 16 games. He also became the first and only player in NFL history with back-to-back games of 200+ receiving yards.

Gordon’s talent is unquestionable and his athleticism is incredible. He is undoubtedly one of the most unbelievable talents that the NFL has seen in quite some time. The issue is that he has not been seen often. Due to the fact that he’s only played 5 games in the past 3 years, many teams had given up on Gordon. The only team to not give up on him was the Browns, who stuck by their man, even when he hadn’t stepped on the field in 3 seasons.

The Browns knew that one day, Gordon would return to the starting lineup, and once his health was in order, he could tap into the qualities that turned him into a star all those years ago. This past Sunday, Josh Gordon returned to an NFL field where he and the Cleveland Browns traveled to Los Angeles for a matchup with the Chargers. Back in August, anyone who believed that a game between the Chargers and Browns would hold the most intrigue, as well as some of the most interesting storylines of the year, would be flat out insane. And yet, two of the most unlikely candidates to take center stage did just that.

After starting the season with four consecutive losses, the implications for the Chargers were massive as a win would propel them into first place in the AFC West. However, the implications for Gordon, who was playing for a shot at redemption, were tremendous.

Although the Chargers came out on top, Josh Gordon proved he hadn't missed a step. Gordon earned 11 targets and hauled in 4 receptions for 85 yards. It's clear the Browns are looking to get their star receiver back into the mix, and their chances of getting back on a winning track are looking very solid going forward.

It’s still undeniable that the Browns have a very long way to go until they can contend for a Super Bowl championship. However, with Josh Gordon at the helm of the operation, Cleveland might just stand a chance. After years of disappointment and lost hope, the Browns have regained their missing star, and he is poised to shine brighter than ever.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Andy Ruiz Jr. May Not Look Like The Typical Boxer, But It Doesn't Make His Victory Any Less Deserved

Andy Ruiz Jr. just proved that dreams can come true.

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On June 1, boxing fans witnessed something special as Andy 'Destroyer' Ruiz Jr. defeated Anthony Joshua via TKO after going seven rounds in the ring at Madison Square Garden in New York City to become the first ever Mexican-American heavyweight champion of the world. Ruiz Jr. (33-1) was a heavy underdog (+1100) heading into the match-up with Joshua (22-1) but ultimately flipped the script to hand the British fighter his first professional loss ever. Surely the fight will go down as one of the greatest moments in sports history.

Some members of the media and fans have been quick to label the fight as a 'fluke' and 'rigged' which in the end is no surprise to me. That always happens in the sports world. Many did not believe we would get this result yet failed to remember the one rule of sports -- expect the unexpected. Over the past week, I've been coming to the defense of Ruiz Jr. in the wake of others choosing to call him a joke.

I was shocked and surprised to hear two of my favorite sports analysts, Stephen A. Smith and Shannon Sharpe, make fun of Ruiz Jr. and frame him as just a guy that looked like 'Butterbean.' When I viewed their tweets on social media it honestly made me upset. Sure, Ruiz Jr. may not have fit the mold of what a professional boxer should look like, but they simply should not have just judged a book by its cover.

Personally, I thought it was disrespectful for Smith and Sharpe to throw shade at Ruiz Jr. in the way they did. I felt like they should have done a better job of acknowledging the winner considering the result of the match. Yet choosing to bash someone because of their physical composition appeared like a low blow. The very foundation of sports allows people of all shapes, sizes, genders, races, and backgrounds to compete -- that's why most people follow them in the first place.

Smith was open behind his reasoning for his tweets in which I'd like to shed some light on. Smith was upset about how boxing time after time contains elements of corruption with fans having to wait years until promoters schedule big fights. He along with other followers of the sport were looking forward to the highly anticipated yet potential future match-up between Joshua and fellow heavyweight Deontay Wilder. Smith believes that by Ruiz Jr. beating Joshua it essentially diminished the chances of that fight ever happening with the same amount of buildup, but that still doesn't provide any excuse for mocking the new heavyweight champ.

Ruiz Jr. was there for a reason and ultimately seized the opportunity that was right in front of him -- that's not his fault for getting the job done. Just because someone doesn't look like the part doesn't mean they don't possess the same qualities and characteristics as their counterparts. The following pair of videos display the amount of talent Ruiz Jr. does have in the ring. Even fellow boxer Canelo Alvarez and former UFC lightweight/featherweight champion Conor McGregor acknowledge that and have come out to say something on their behalf.

Unfortunately, I don't expect much to change because most will stand their ground and continue to behave the same way. All I'm saying is I did not enjoy some of the top figures within sports media stereotyping Ruiz Jr. based on his looks. I would think that we would be better than that and recognize that anyone can accomplish something great in this world. It all just starts with a simple dream.

I understand and respect other people's takes on this subject, maybe I'm looking into things deeper than what they are, but it struck a chord with me and I felt the need to say something about it.

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