Ricky Williams…

    On Thursday’s show we talked to Ricky’s agent Leigh Steinberg and he said he “expected” his client to be reinstated by the NFL next week. It got me to thinking about Ricky’s case. When he bailed on his team just before training camp a few years back, we did a show the next day and he got killed by the fans…nobody liked a quitter.

I’m curious about your opinion of Ricky now. This guy didn’t get a DUI, beat his spouse, shoot anyone. What category do you put his infractions, repeated positive tests for pot? Do you think the NFL should let Ricky back in and would you want him on your team? Those are two separate issues. You may think he has the right to earn a living playing football again, but you may still think of him as a quitter.



26 Responses

  1. To think, Eagles fans could have a chance to have BOTH Ricky Williams and Donovan McNabb.

    [cue footage draft day podium with Eagles fans booing McNabb’s selection as the Eagle’s #1 pick]

    Would I want Ricky? I don’t know if he has anything left. I’d probably pass.


  2. He definitely deserves another shot. His offense amounts to a bit of weed and having an unconventional personality. I feel bad for the guy.

    And, as a Chiefs fan, I’d happily see my team give him a shot. We can use all the help we can get right now.

  3. I agree with Evil Bender. I consider his infractions minor. I mean, look at the staggeringly disgusting incident involving Albert Haynesworth. We were ready to hang him, yet he still plays like nothing ever happened.

    The only thing that makes me uncomfortable is the fact that he quit on his team. However, if he has received counseling and is ready to commit, how can we NOT allow him back in light of the situation I just mentioned.

    As a Vikings fan, we would have loved to have him, but now we have Adrian Peterson, so let the Chiefs have him. 😉


  4. I am not too certain that I’d like him on my team, but his agent did make a good case for him to be back in the league. Although he got a bit twisted when you asked him about the confidentiality, I was a bit concerned for him there for a minute but then he remembered what he came on the Big Show to say and completely shirked your question and stated the reasons why Smoked out Rick should play in the league.

    On second thought, I think he would do well for the Colts, Dungy would be good for him and he won’t be the story week-in and week-out. I’d take him as a rehab project.

    I’m certain that my other team of the Bears could use him! Benson isn’t the solution to anything, but he may be another bad apple and dominate the stories to the detriment of the team. So my conclusion is yes for my Colts and probably not for my Bears.

  5. Considering how bad this NFL season is going (injury wise) for so many teams, I’m sure some team will pick him up – thats why the NFL SHOULD let him back in.

    As for the category question – who knows. It seems that nowadays it doesn’t really matter what a person does half the time, its who the person that’s doing it. Perfect example – baseball players who use steroids vs. football players who use steroids. If a linebacker is caught using steroids that story will be discussed about a quarter as much as the story of a baseball reliever/middle of the lineup hitter using steroids.

  6. Its just weed. Over 700,000 people get arrested for possesion of this substance a year. Who knows how many people really use it (millions?). I’m not advocating drug use, but I surely don’t think smoking pot makes you a bad person. I’m sure most people know someone very close to them that smokes pot that they consider a goos person.

    What I’m getting at is, Ricky may not be a bad person. He obviously makes bad decisions. Judging by his appearance, he is a very free-spirited individual who enjoys his freedoms. I can understand his yearning to want to do whatever it is he wants.

    If Mr. Williams understands, that if he wants to play football, he will have to sacrafice the herb. Then he should definetly be reinstated.

    Side Note: Weed should be legal if cigarettes are. Which one does more damage?

  7. The reality of situation is that strictly from a football standpoint, Ricky hasn’t mattered in quite some time. Running backs at his age, as we will see when Priest Holmes gets his first start of the year on Sunday, simply do not have that burst anymore. He can do his 2007 impression of Marcus Allen and become a goal line specialist, but beyond that I don’t think he’ll help a team. And if he can’t help a team, as a GM, I’m not taking any risks. But just based on principle alone, sure he deserves another chance.

  8. he’s a quitter…but many people are quitters. it’s whether or not you come back. i think that he should get reinstated..he didn’t do anything atrocious, it was dumb, but not that bad

    if a team wants him, he should be allowed to play

  9. He has a right to earn a living as a football player? I don’t know if I’d go that far.
    Forget the weed.
    This is all about decision-making. The man has, more than once, demonstrated his misgivings about being a pro-athlete, about being famous, about being committed to playing for a team and making the commitment to the organization and his fellow players to stick it out for an entire season.
    In my view, Ricky doesn’t want to play football.
    He wants to get paid just to be Ricky.
    In effect, he wants to be Oprah.

    He has a right to try out (assuming the league reinstates him– and why shouldn’t they?)…
    and if some team wants to take a gamble on him, more power to them.
    But Ricky doesn’t have a right to come back as if nothing’s happened. Not because of the weed. Because he walked away on the LAST team that put their trust in him.
    Trust matters. Period.

  10. Nobody ever looks at it at this angle: People like Ricky Williams are so naturally gifted that they pursue athletics, not because they love it, but because it is easy, profitable, and adheres to peoples expectations. The first two points are the driving force that allow these players to reach the top with only a juke and a yawn. But when the pressure of the third point begins to swell, that is when they show their true colors (disinterested in maximizing their potential) by under performing and/or acting out.
    In this regard, they are no different. How much of the public is working a profession they love? How many do it for the money? Bad coworkers is a running punchline in comic strips and stand-up routines. When you don’t love your job, but feel trapped in it (or exploiting it because of natural talents), how often do you underperform and/or act up? Prime examples in sports history of natural athletes who did it for the money and the ease:

    1) Derrick Coleman – NBA
    2) Ricky Williams – NFL
    3) JD Drew – MLB
    4) Todd Marinovich – NFL
    5) Jan Ullrich – tour d France
    6) Anna Kornikova – Tennis
    7) Kwame Brown – NBA

    I am sure there are many more examples of this in sports.

  11. BTW, Dan, glad you to find a place to listen to your diatribes. Will there be a podcast for those who cannot make the 9-12 live show?

  12. Oh, and one more thing: What is with the photos of you smoking the cigar? You look like Eddie Munster on a GQ cover.

  13. I think if he really wanted to play, he would follow the rules. Plus he is a quitter, no one wants a quitter on their team, right?


  14. I believe there is a direct correlation between the drug and the low-self esteem in some people and it seems to hold true in this case.

    I have had pot smokers on my team (college and pro) and they lack the discipline and the desire it takes to commit to winning.

    No I don’t want them on my team. Let him back in, help him but he is labeled as a quitter and there is nothing **worse.


  15. Nobody has listed the obvious choice – – the Patriots.

    Belichick cops another major coup d’etat. Randy Moss was an in your face acquisition that has worked out pretty well so far. By adding the Rickster, albeit with a non-guaranteed performance laden contract, you have given yet another ground weapon to Tom and his posse. So many horses in the stable. The scores would be more relentless than they already have become. It would be like nuking a town after you have already blown everything up to begin with. Life in the NFL with Belichick.

    So why not the Patriots, hmmm?

  16. I say bring him back with the Colts. Wouldn’t it be poetic justice for him to end up BACK with the team that passed him over for Edge? Not to mention, I think he’s looking for some spiritual guidance and who knows….maybe Dungy could move him in that direction?

    The question is, does he have a problem with that weed. If in his HEART he truly believes that it’s not “that bad”, it gives him peace and focus, and it’s important in his life, you’d just be wasting your time with a guy that’s just going to eventually do what “works for HIM” only to end up suspended anyway.

    (P.S. That loop of “Lorider” by War with the samples cutting up in the background of the traffic reports is BANGIN’.)

  17. If he hasn’t been able to hang by now, he won’t be able to from now on. Let Ricky go flip burgers or whatever his academic degree was supposed to have prepared him to do. He’ll just quit again anyway

  18. Carm,

    Dungy and Polian are pretty astute judges of characta’….if you know what I mean. Ricky Williams does not fit the system; he cannot pick up blitzing corners, needless any other blocking requirements; he can’t catch, and he cannot remember anything said to him. Could imagine the Rick trying to hash (no pun intended) 3 plays at the line of scrimmage, and then dump all of it for a Peyton audible.

    “What did you say, man?”

    Ricky Williams in a Colt uniform would make Vanderjadt look like “a pretty smart idiot kicker”. If you want to hang with the Colts you need to have some brain cells left and a few synaptic transmitters to go along with them. That disqualifies he and all the other pot smokers in the NFL.

  19. Let him play…. He made made a mistake, but he is no Pacman. Pacman needs a lifetime ban from the NFL if he ever even yells at his cable provider.

  20. Would you want a quitter on your team?

  21. I definitely think that the Bengals are the place for Ricky. They already have a ton of players with questionable character and tons of quitters. Cincinnati is the new Oakland. They just don’t have anyone who can hit like Oakland used to.

  22. I say let him back in.

    Wait 2-4 weeks and he’ll get himself kicked out of the league again and then we won’t have to talk about it anymore.

  23. he loves to get high, and he quits… when do you stop looking at potential?


  25. The dolphins are trying very hard to match that undefeated season with a perfect losing season. They are bringing Ricky back for one reason and one reason only to try and win at least one game this year. Then, they will trade him and get out from underneath all that press and drama he drags around behind him. I like the man he deserves to play if he can follow the rules. Just imagine the dolphins being the only team in history to post an undefeated season and a winless season that truly would be something else.

  26. As a Dolphins’ fan, I have to say that I was crushed a few years ago when he left right before camp started. That was devastating because with Ricky and that defense at the time I felt like they could have gone deep into the playoffs.

    But now things are different. This is a rebuilding project and the focal points of the team are John Beck, Ronnie Brown, Ted Ginn Jr., the young guys on the offensive line, etc…. If Ricky can contribute, great. If not then its no longer a big deal.

    I’m rooting for him because despite everything I think the guy’s heart’s in the right place.

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