OT: Ricky Williams 30 for 30

Submitted by Hail2Michigan on April 28th, 2010 at 12:17 AM

Anyone happen to catch the Ricky Williams 30 for 30 on ESPN tonight?  I must say, before I watched this I was a bit of a Ricky hater.  Almost everyting I knew about him I gathered from watching ESPN but after watching the show and finding out who he really is and why he did what he did I have a much greater respect for him.  As much as fans, well hell pretty much everyone chastised him for walking away when he did, people often forget these players we watch and invest so much in are people just the same as you or I.  They have isses that sometimes are more important than a game and ultimately their well being is more important and they must do what's best for them not the fans.  Thoughts?



April 28th, 2010 at 12:21 AM ^

and have seen him as being misunderstood. After watchng this, I was right. Excellent documentary, it's definitely my favorite "30 for 30" thus far.


April 28th, 2010 at 12:22 AM ^

He is an excellent athlete with issues. I was impressed to hear that his drive to come back centered around being able to pay child support and support his kids in the best way possible. Definitely speaks to his work ethic and determination when he was gone that he was able  put together 1000 rushing seasons 4 years apart. Plus, how can I not love the quote about how he started the recent dreads trend in football. Apparently we owe him one....


April 28th, 2010 at 12:28 AM ^

Sounds funny that his contract was almost 100% incentive based, but I think that's because he wanted to prove himself to everyone.  Sounds like he had a rough childhood as well.  I like that he mentioned he has the right to retire whenever he wants.  Something to the tune of "do I have to wait until I blow my knee out to retire, when should I retire then"? 


Really enjoying these 30 in 30's.

Real Tackles Wear 77

April 28th, 2010 at 3:06 AM ^

He has always been given a bad rap by the media. Many of the clips of sportswriters that were featured in this movie (including Jay Mariotti and Mike Wilbon, to call out a couple of otherwise top-notch writers) made comments which, in retrospect, seem incredibly close minded. Calling RW "a disgrace to the game of football" for following his own path to spiritual enlightenment was a completely unfair and uninformed judgement on the part of many members of the press.

Ricky Williams is an example of what's right with sports. Instead of idolizing athletes who thrive on the field while being a drain on society off of it, we should respect those who have enough perspective on life to understand that no amount of money can provide true spiritual and personal fulfillment.


April 28th, 2010 at 6:43 AM ^

My favorite part was Joe Theisman making himself look like an even bigger dick than he is.

The interview he gave completely trashing Ricky when he went to the Toronto Argonauts seemed completely outrageous in hindsight.


April 28th, 2010 at 7:00 AM ^

There were all kinds of quotes that bashed Ricky.  I always liked him because he thinks outside the box and doesn't adhere to the standard football player mentality.  If the guy wants to quit football to get an education, improve himself, whatever - who are we to say that he shouldn't do that?

I like how all those fans in Miami were bashing him and then when he came back and started playing well, they were all over his nuts again.  That's a classic case of sports fans being morons.

FWIW, I've liked Ricky Williams ever since I saw a piece on his relationship with the aging Doak Walker when Williams was in college.  I like it when players make connections with the past and don't just think that football was created when they were 8 years old and started watching it on TV.


April 28th, 2010 at 7:32 AM ^

This was a great piece on Ricky Williams and I am very impressed by espn in delivering this series. It tells all of Ricky's journey through life, good and bad, so it doesn't come off as a fluff piece. I came away with a new found respect for the man as well as feeling partially ashamed that I let the media sway my opinion of him in the first place.


April 28th, 2010 at 7:59 AM ^

Someone close to me did the same thing for many years.

I didn't see the piece in question, but Williams had/has serious, clinical psychiatric issues. I don't remember, but I think it was/is borderline personality disorder. Rhoda Hahn is awesome on these topics:

Leaving football may have saved his life. I just wanted to smack the ignorant fools on TV who trashed him on a personal level.


April 28th, 2010 at 8:12 AM ^

Is there any where to watch 30 for 30 episodes online?  I would really like to see the Ricky Williams and Miami episodes, but keep forgetting to watch the show when it's on TV (I have all but abandoned ESPN until football season starts up again).


April 28th, 2010 at 9:06 AM ^

I don't get it.

While I believe the guy has every right to quit football to pursue other interests and educate himself, Ricky did it while he was in the midst of being suspended by the league for violating the leagues substance abuse policy for what I believe what was his third  time. He then proceeded to leave the league and his children to learn about holistic medicine? I am happy he has turned his life around but this guy is far from a hero in my eyes. He's just doing what he is supposed to be doing, his job.


April 28th, 2010 at 1:40 PM ^

1) He was busted for something that is legal medicinally in double-digit states in the United States right now (and he most certainly would have been able to qualify for medicinal use).  So it's not like he was breaking out PCP or something.

2) Yes on the leaving the children - not exactly the thing a role model should do.  However, I will argue against it in the following way: During the documentary his (to-be) wife said that even after everything she has been through with him, she loves him and he's a great guy.  And also, to be a "hero" - it's not often how you start the story but how it finishes (corny I know, but isn't it true?)


April 28th, 2010 at 9:09 AM ^

I  have to say this really opened my eyes.  I'm glad to see a lot of others appreciated it as well.  I think it also shows how ignorant the general public still is about mental health issues, especially in the sports world.   It also shows the shallowness of most sports fans and those who work in this industry.  There is so much stigma toward people that either have a defined illness or just think outside the box a little.  I'm glad Ricky shared his story so honestly and I hope a lot of people can benefit from it.

Steve in PA

April 28th, 2010 at 9:12 AM ^

McGuffie's issues reminded me a lot of Ricky and I'm happy for both of them.  Just because someone is at the pinnacle of success in one aspect of their life doesn't mean that they cannot be a trainwreck in some other aspect.


Good for both of them having the sense to do what they thought was needed to address those shortcomings.

His Dudeness

April 28th, 2010 at 9:34 AM ^

I never had anything negative to say about Ricky Williams. His agent wasn't the best choice, but I still respect his contract. People think that getting off the grid is crazy when I side more with that notion being natural instinct. I am  not sure humans were meant to take such a daily stress toll.


April 28th, 2010 at 9:56 AM ^

Really well done.  I never really begrudged Williams for walking away, and he seems happy now.  I remember reading an article about Williams (I think in SI) before the draft, and even then you got a sense that he didn't love football like other players; that he saw it as something he was supposed to do but not necessarily something he believed in deeply.  He clearly is in a better place right now, and even though that meant leaving the game for a couple of years, it is good to see him back.  It was a really nice documentary, and I'm looking forward to buying all of these specials on DVD.


April 28th, 2010 at 11:37 AM ^

Ricky is doing better than ever last season including after when Ronnie Brown went down with knee injury.  He carried the load for the Dolphins all the way to the playoff.  Despite the fact that Wannsedt over worked him in 2 years when he's the coach for the Dolphins, Ricky still has a lot of tank left in him, thanks to him leaving the game of football for a few years.  It really rested his body from the wear and tear of NFL football.  Yoga is a good way to recover quickly as well as weight training.

I believe the Dolphins are looking to trade Ronnie Brown.  It's partly because of his injury and also the emergence of Ricky Williams last year that may have made him expendable.


April 28th, 2010 at 12:16 PM ^

I've been a Ricky fan since his UT days.  I was ecstatic when the Dolphins traded for him.  When he quit, I really believe a lot of it had to do with the fact that Wannstedt was using/abusing him with the number of carries he was getting.   He took a tremendous amount of punishment.   When he came back and failed the weed tests, I felt sorry for him more than I was disappointed.  Dolphin fans who sold him out were the ones who disappointed me.

He is probably Bill Parcells favorite Dolphin player on the roster.  He works incredibly hard, is a good teammate, and a good person.  The comments that were made by the drive-by's on ESPN (at the time of his "retirement") showed how completely out of touch they are.