Ricky’s $8.5 Million Question

Steve Murray
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Wednesday - June 01, 2005
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Ricky Williams will be in the Miami Dolphins’ training camp in July. This according to his agent Leigh Steinberg, as reported in the Miami Herald.

Can’t figure out why a man who just a year ago was uninterested in the game, living in the outback, crashing in youth hostels and becoming a certified yoga instructor, would want to get back into the restrictive business of pro football? We’ll give you 8.5 million reasons.

That’s how much Williams owes the Dolphins for his disappearing act last year. Amazing how one’s outlook changes when his wallet gets pinched. So now Ricky wants to strap on the pads and help Stella get her groove back. How nice.

Do you buy it?

During his sabbatical, Williams studied holistic medicine in California, then hung for a month at the Sivananda Yoga Center in India. Steinberg said both schools are against using drugs or alcohol to alter consciousness. How did that topic came up?

It’s not like Ricky is guilty of adding anything artificial to his daily brownie. What’s more natural and unaltered than grow it, roll it and smoke it? Why that’s holism at its best. All natural. Grab some granola, soy milk, a dash of Soma Skunk or Super Silver Haze, slide on the Birkenstocks and begin your day the way nature intended. A mixture of sativa and Shiva! It’s almost godlike!

Love ya Ricky.

The Dolphins need a workhorse at running back and Williams fits the bill. His violation of the league’s substance abuse policy means he will miss the first four games of the season. That’s not a bad thing. Yoga aside, after a year away from the game he is clearly not in football shape, and the more time he can take before getting abused by linebackers, the better. Right now he’s a little light at 195, some 40 pounds below his playing weight. Seems Doritos and Mountain Dew aren’t the only way to battle the munchies. But once in the gym he should be able to pack it on. Heavy weight for bulk, swan dive, monkey, plank and up dog keeping him toned.

Even with coach Nick Saban’s blessing and Steinberg’s promises, questions remain about the effectiveness of this latest goround.

Can Williams perform as he has in the past? Yes. Will he face retribution from teammates and other players?

Most likely.

Will he stick around long enough to make this whole process worth the effort? Who knows.

And that’s the problem.

What’s keeping Williams from bailing on the team once he saves enough to pay off any remaining debt? Would you bet the farm on that not happening?

Whatever the Dolphins had to do to get him into camp, you can be sure that everything was negotiated carefully. Miami is not about to be hung out to dry. If Williams is truly interested in a comeback, he can’t screw this up. The world of sport is very forgiving. If he plays well, everything will be forgiven. If he struggles or once again does a disappearing act, not even the Raiders will touch him.

Look, Ricky is a different type of cat. He does things that, to him, make perfect sense. To others he can be downright weird. Individuality is not a bad thing. Maybe it’s better for Ricky to be sharing natural health secrets than shedding would-be tacklers. If once again he decides to bow out, does it permanently, and feels that is the right thing to do, then God bless him for it. But if he decides to take money from the Dolphins, he has to be at his best.

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