Photographs by Cristina Gutierrez
"As a Professional Athlete, Coach, Artist, and Creative, his abilities are unmatched. However, where Gordon shines the most is as a friend, family member, and teammate. Kindheartedness, compassion, and empathy aren't foreign to Gordon. It's evident in the way he carries himself with others. Gordon led one of the nations worst Division-1AA football programs to back-to-back Conference Championships, National Playoff appearances and Top-25 rankings. Following that impressive feat, he went on to play for the San Diego Chargers, as one of the first NFL Athletes to come out of Sacred Heart University. There's an innate ability that world-class leaders have that can move mountains -- Gordon has that ability. The biggest stages excite Gordon, whereas, others might be intimated. I've seen that first-hand motivate others to be their best self! The best years of Gordon's career are ahead of him. Excited to watch him change the world."
– Connor Candito
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A TRAILBLAZER?
To be a trailblazer means to be willing to fail and being numb to the opinions of others as you go after whatever you’re pursuing. Being a trailblazer comes with the territory of loneliness, being a risk taker, and some may even say crazy. However, when trailblazers achieve that “thing," most will tell you that the vulnerability that they allowed themselves to have was the beauty of it all.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CREATOR? HOW DO YOU MANIFEST YOUR CREATIVITY?
To be a creator means to be a communicator with any medium except language. Personally, I manifest my creativity via photography, videography, writing, and I’m currently working on adding another medium in which I can create in the coming year.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
When asked a question like this, I always think about the people in the world that don’t have the resources or are in an environment that stops them from even the pursuit of fulfilling their goals. So, to me, success is the ability to not necessarily fulfill your goals in life but to simply have the ability to pursue them.
WHAT'S A CAUSE YOU ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT?
I’m passionate about making sure everyone in this world has clean water. I think it’s crazy that people on this earth still don’t have clean water and it's 2019.
WHAT'S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'VE EVER RECEIVED?
The best piece of advice I’ve ever received was from my Uncle Gary when I was 8 or 9 years old. He told me, “Don’t talk about it, be about it,” and that has stuck with me ever since. I’ve even taken that saying and added my own twist to it. Nowadays, I tell kids “Don’t pump fake” which ultimately has the same message my uncle was trying to get across to me.
HOW IMPORTANT HAS FAILURE BEEN IN YOUR LIFE AND CAREER?
Failure has been crucial, and it is probably the main reason I’ve gotten to where I am today. I mention in my book that the most important moment of my football career was a failure that happen my Sophomore year in high school. In this particular case, I underachieved and let my team down. With that being said, it made me work harder and stuck with me for the rest of my years.
WHAT'S SOMETHING WE SHOULD PAY MORE ATTENTION TO?
Sustainability! I’m not going to say I’m one of those people who gets caught up in the global warming debate, or whatever you want to call it. However, regardless of if you believe in global warming or not, I do believe we need to be more mindful of how we’re going to be able to sustain earth’s natural resources. I don’t want to dive too deep into this topic, but I will say I think about alternative means of energy and things like that. For example, I’m very in favor of Bill Gates and the company TerraPower as they aim to develop a sustainable and economic nuclear energy system. But I also understand the backlash they’ve been receiving.
WHAT PARTICULAR EXPERIENCE AT SACRED HEART SHAPED YOU THE MOST?
Being an RSA (Residential Success Assistant) while at SHU was definitely the experience that shaped me the most. Initially, I never had any intention to be an RSA but after talking to one of my teammates who was also an RSA and having a great RSA my freshman year, it was a no-brainer. What I loved about it was the fact that it forced me to talk to people I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. Ultimately, it broadened my network of people at SHU and these new connections helped me open my eyes to new perspectives.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE NEVER CHANGES?
This may sound selfish, but I hope I never stop seeing the good in people. I know that may sound corny or cliché, or whatever you want to call it, but I’m serious. I always start people off with a Madden Rating of a 99 overall.
SOUNDTRACK OF YOUR LIFE:
Frank Ocean and James Blake for sure make up the soundtrack to my life. I listen to the both of them almost every day. What’s interesting about them is that they’re friends and even help each other with the creation of new music.
WHO ARE THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE AND CAREER?
My friends are the most influential people in my life. My friends who are older than me and have started their careers are like role models to me. I’d say the same for my friends who are close to me in age as well. They also give me guidance and advice about not only business, but just life in general. As for my friends who are younger than me, I look at them in the same light. If anything, they keep me in the loop and aware of what the generation after me is giving their attention to and why that’s important for me to know. At the end of the day, everyone adds value, regardless of age. That’s why it’s hard for me to say one single person has been the most influential in my life.
THIS WORLD NEEDS MORE:
Love. It's as simple as that.
FIRST THOUGHT EVERY MORNING:
It’s for sure to make my bed. I do it every morning and I can’t get my day started until its done.
IF YOU COULD INTERVIEW ANYONE, DEAD OR ALIVE, WHO WOULD IT BE?
This is an easy one, it’s my grandfather on my dad’s side. He passed away when I was 1 year old, so I never got an opportunity to speak with him. I’d love to ask him questions about his childhood and our family as well as questions about my father. When speaking with older relatives, they always tell me he and my father are very similar, so I wish I got to see that for myself.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE?
In my eyes, the biggest moment of my life was the release of my book, titled: “That’s Life.” If you asked my mom though, she would say making it to the NFL. Although that was pretty cool to accomplish, there was something about the process of publishing a book that held more value in my eyes. What’s important to note was that I started writing the book while recovering from a knee injury that ended my playing career, and I wasn’t in the best mental space while writing. The writing process actually became extremely therapeutic for me and I’m thankful for what the publishing process taught me about life and the people it forced me to engage or reengage with.