$0.02: Enough hypocrisy! Let Williams live his life
I am so fed up with people ridiculing Ricky Williams for living his life. Yes, in case we’d forgotten, it is indeed his – not the Dolphins’, not the city of Miami’s, and certainly not any of ours. Williams, you’ll recall, decided he didn’t want to play pro football any more just days before this season began. So, on the heels of a second positive drug test for marijuana, he retired, and has since spent his time traveling the globe and doing what he wants to do. Unfortunately, his retirement also has influenced others: the Dolphins are 2-10, Dave Wannstedt lost his job, and every sports pundit who ever wanted a “Don’t do it like this” posterboy has employed Williams’ dreadlocked image.
I can see why Williams’ teammates and bosses were disappointed with him; he was undeniably their best player, so when he called it quits the season’s hope largely went with him. They’ve argued he could’ve done it in a more timely fashion, giving Miami more time to plan for his absence. Maybe they’re right. Maybe Ricky could’ve called his coach a few days earlier so the team would’ve had a shot at signing Eddie George or someone else more capable than the practice squad-caliber guys they’ve used instead. But even that would’ve been to appease someone else.What the sportswriters and mouthy radio and TV guys are doing when they make their “Ricky’s so high …” jokes is robbing their subject of his fundamental right to freedom. Honestly, it sounds insane when I write this – and it should.Williams didn’t want to play anymore, and so he shouldn’t have to. Period. End of story. Don’t agree? Fine. The next time you’re in the middle of a shift at work and you have to go to the bathroom, try holding it until the end of the day. Not because the bathroom is locked or otherwise occupied, but simply because your bosses would prefer you be at your desk during the busy mid-morning hours. Seriously, try it. See how you like someone else forcing you to live a way you don’t want to.
I hope Ricky Williams is enjoying the heck out of his spiritual indian healing; I hope seeing Europe with Lenny Kravitz and Australia with whomever has enlightened him. Most of all, I hope he’s happy. He deserves to be, just like the rest of us …If Williams were paying attention to his old conference, the AFC – and I doubt he is – he’d be witnessing another of Denver’s only-so-good seasons. Maybe next year people will stop picking the Broncos as a Super Bowl contender. Because unless something weird happens, this will be the sixth straight year Denver has failed to win a playoff game – despite the talent to bring about such optimism each year. You have to wonder when Mike Shanahan, he of the NFL’s evilest stare, will be held accountable …NFC East quips: Putting Eli Manning under center for the Giants – bad. Betting your holiday bonus on the Eagles finally getting to the Super Bowl with Donovan McNabb – good …
Repeat after me, Cal and Auburn: All I want for Christmas is an 8-team playoff! …In parting, I’d like to share with you something I learned this weekend. Dick Butkus signs his autographs like this: “With sportsmanship, Dick Butkus.” Nice touch.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at email@example.com.
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