Nowhere to hide from Cleveland craziness

I’m starting to think that a close friend has the right idea as he wanders the country far from northeast Ohio.

As part of his bucket list during early retirement, he left home a month ago for a nine-month journey that starts with a trip to the northern-most tip of Alaska. He then plans to escape the winter with a ride along the California coastline, followed by a drive across the southern states before spending the winter in Florida.

Lost among the wandering elks and hungry bears that roam the vast open spaces of Alaska is LeBron talk, Johnny Manziel watching and Josh Gordon’s personal police blotter. At first I thought my friend was crazy for attempting his journey. Now I almost wish I was on a lengthy journey that would take me far from my 48-inch television and 16-inch laptop.

All I need to know about the summer of LeBron is that he quit on the Cavaliers in 2010 and then bolted to South Beach. How any fan of the Cavaliers could welcome him back after that history lesson is beyond belief. What next? A statue of Art Modell outside First Energy Stadium?

Apparently people become desperate when they haven’t seen a championship banner raised since the Vietnam War era. I swear, some Browns fan might be willing to have the team colors changed to black and gold if they thought it might produce a Super Bowl appearance.

In the case of Manziel mania, the media has become the worst culprit. Every photo tweeted or video shown by TMZ of Manziel at a party doing silly things becomes a dominant story. Some are worthy of conversation, but most aren’t. By the reaction of some, you’d think that lounging on an inflatable swan at a pool party in Las Vegas is a felony.

You do have to question Manziel’s selection of friends when he decided to be included in a photo with Justin Bieber, but is that going to be the reason why he might be a bust? Let’s wait and see how Manziel acts after he’s been around some of his new teammates for a while. It will be time to be concerned if the locker room turns on him.

The Gordon saga is sad in that we’re seeing a person self-destruct in front of our eyes. Forget that he’s one of the best receivers in the NFL and on track to earn beaucoup money if he stays out of trouble. The ride he’s on with an obvious substance-abuse problem is bigger than a 20-touchdown season.

It’s disturbing when people say “only in Cleveland” when they talk about Gordon. This is far more than a Cleveland story. It’s the story of a young life being destroyed from within, with help from people around him who purport friendship, and is played out every day in every corner of the country.

Hall of Fame NFL receiver and current ESPN analyst Cris Carter chimed in on Gordon this week, saying that he needs to be cut. Carter received that exact same treatment by the Philadelphia Eagles early in his career when he was dealing with substance abuse. He eventually straightened out and went on to have a brilliant career with the Minnesota Vikings.

I’m not sure I side with Carter on this one. The first action needs to be for Browns personnel to sit down with Gordon and begin developing a plan for recovery. Granted, Gordon has to take control of his life, but having caring people around to lend guidance makes the process so much easier.

It’s been a wild ride for Cleveland sports – dating back to May 8 when the Browns drafted Manziel – and no end is in sight. By the amount of action seen on Twitter and Facebook, apparently fans love this stuff.

Sometimes I wish I was on that road to Alaska with my friend.