Michael Irvin said Cris Carter is wrong about Josh Gordon, and we'll get to that in a bit. It's interesting.
But first we have to tackle what Irvin told the Dan Le Batard Show (via the Broward/Palm Beach New Times) about Carter and Irvin's wife. It's more interesting.
Le Batard was asking Irvin thought about Carter saying the Cleveland Browns should cut the troubled Gordon, and out came a story about Carter approaching Irvin's wife. One that we've never heard before.
"For Josh, maybe it's the worst thing, and I'm going to put a little personal [spin] on this even though I love Cris to death," Irvin said. I don't know what year it was we were in the Pro Bowl. And all Cris is trying to do, he's just trying to share his experiences.
"He said to my wife — he said to my wife, 'You know, Michael would never come out of this problem until you leave him. Till you leave him.'
"For years, I've held it. I've never shared that with anybody. I've never in my life shared that with anybody. I was so irked with Cris because he was out of line then. His ass is out of line now. He is out. Of. Line."
To say that Irvin was upset and Irvin-ish as he told the story is understating. The story relates to Irvin's drug problems, and Carter — who has been outspoken and open about overcoming his own addiction to drinking in 1990 — reportedly overstepping his bounds in Irvin's mind.
Irvin said he never approached Carter on it, and clearly there's some level of forgiveness and understanding with Carter's approach.
"I understand the difficulty of what he's trying to do," Irvin said. "That's why I'm telling you. He wants to help, and I understand that. But he has to meet with people, he has to talk with people. I meet with doctors that meet with players that have substances issues. I meet with them. I meet with these doctors, I talk to these doctors, I talk about issues these guys are going through and the worst thing you can do sometimes is to isolate them.
"I would never say on-air, given the position I'm given, that a team should cut somebody unless I get it from his professional help that separation and isolation will give him a revelation about his situation. But I get that from the doctor — not a football player, not anybody upstairs — I get it from the doctor and I don't repeat it and I don't say it. Period."
And that really was the genesis for Irvin's anger on the Gordon issue: He didn't feel he, or any other analyst, was or is qualified to make a judgment on the troubled receiver. It's the same thing with Gordon or Tanard Jackson or any other player in this league who possibly might be battling substance abuse: It's not a black and white issue, and there only are certain people who can help them.
I'll be honest ... I've never been the biggest Irvin admirer in the past, but this interview might have been a game changer. This is pretty fantastic stuff.
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