‘Prove us wrong’: Tom Wassell’s open letter to Seahawks WR Josh Gordon
The Seahawks picked up one-time All-Pro wide receiver Josh Gordon on a waiver claim Friday. Tom Wassell of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy explains his concerns about adding a player with multiple suspensions on his record and a reputation of not committing himself to football in the open letter below.
You’re a member of the Seahawks now. Fans here believe in the idea that being a Seahawk means something different than playing for just any old team. We have something special here – a camaraderie.
We have Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright. These men are pillars of a community that preaches hard work, togetherness, winning and an overall sense of optimism. My hope for you is that you buy into the culture that they’ve built and it results in the kind of success that you’ve been after for your entire football life.
But I’m worried. While many others were excited when the news broke that you’d be coming to Seattle, I was immediately skeptical. Who can blame them? You have the kind of talent that comes along once a generation. Imagining the addition of you to a team that’s already 6-2 is the answer to the prayers of Seahawks fans.
So why was I worried? Track record, plain and simple. The Browns gave you chance after chance, but ultimately it couldn’t work. Failed drug tests, one after another. What would it take for you to learn your lesson and get yourself committed to football? You went to a world-class organization in the New England Patriots, where you were productive – for a while. But ultimately it didn’t work. This was confounding to me.
The word is that the Patriots let you go because you didn’t demonstrate the kind of commitment required to be a member of their team. Showing up late for meetings and getting lost when coaches were trying to locate you? That’s not gonna cut it here, either. There are two sides to every story, and if not for your past, I’d be willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. But it’s very difficult to do at this point. If you can’t succeed with the New England Patriots, where can you find success?
Sometimes in order or us to truly learn the ultimate lesson, we need to have something important taken away. In your case, that could be football. But here we are and you’ve been given yet another chance. Will you make the most of it?
Think about what an incredible end to your story it would be (or perhaps a beginning) if you took seriously this final shot at success and become the player that you know you can be. Imagine yourself playing in the Super Bowl, making huge plays that only you can make, hoisting that Lombardi Trophy while thousands of adoring Seahawks fans chant your name – all of whom would be proud of you not for what you did on the field but for the example you’ve set. People could look to you as a beacon of hope.
“If Josh Gordon can overcome his issues, so can I.”
You could hold your head high and say to the world:
“This is who I truly am – a man who fights until the end to overcome that which holds me back.”
I hope that what I’ve described comes true. But you have to prove it. There are 27 other teams that passed on you before the Seahawks claimed you on waivers, that don’t think you have it in you to accomplish anything else in this league. And I’m unsure myself.
Go out there and prove us wrong.
Best of luck,