Sunday, July 25, 2004


If the reports are correct, we can expect to see Ricky Williams’ retirement from the NFL made official early next week. I would like to believe otherwise, but I am not in denial. Williams will file his retirement papers as he cravenly begins his travels abroad to Asia. That means it’s unlikely we’ll even see Ricky’s face on television. He will not have to answer to the teammates and fans he has so callously betrayed.

There are a few ways to look at this. If Ricky Williams did indeed just make his thoughts public this weekend, then he is a coward and a disgrace. I would not be offended if Ricky Williams had decided in March that he did not want to continue with football. Obviously, I would have been disappointed. It’s not easy to pick up someone, even in March, with the ability of Ricky Williams. Miami could have made a run at Bengals RB Corey Dillon were they aware of his ruminations. Had Ricky, even one week ago, declared this, Miami would have surely been willing to overpay for the aging Eddie George. Now, the best Miami can hope for is that Travis Minor fulfills the promise that he showed as a backup running back. In fact, this whole offense is about promise. Fans have to believe that both QB A.J. Feeley and Travis Minor will perform to levels they have not achieved as of yet.

If he does decide to retire, Williams will go down as the most hated man in South Florida sports history. He’ll be worse than rivals like Jim Kelly or Andre Reed. At least they were not traitors. Williams has an obligation as a professional and a human being to play this season. This isn’t just about his life. It’s about the 55 other players, coaches, and fans who have a vested interest in the success of this franchise. Williams’ absence basically ends any hopes the Dolphins may have had of competing for a championship this year. Our hopes are crippled for the future as well. Williams cost the Dolphins two first round draft picks. They were not a high price to pay considering Williams’ on the field successes. But in hindsight, two good seasons does not equal two first round draft picks.

There is one other way to look at this, though. Last night, I was contemplating whether or not Wannstedt and Spielman had any advanced knowledge of this impending decision. Reports stated that this retirement was months in the making. We don’t know the particulars about whom were involved in the decision making process. Had the Dolphins known there was even the possibility of this retirement, they would have been criminally negligent not to pursue other available options. I hope that this team was not so derelict as to deny even the possibility that Williams would choose this option. has an interesting piece of commentary up this morning. Since I’m already a season ticket holder, I wasn’t aware that yesterday was another “Select-a-Seat” day. If the Dolphins knew about this a few days earlier and kept their mouths shut until after Saturday, it would be an atrocity. All these fans eagerly anticipating another 1500 + yard season, only to have their hopes devastated in the early morning hours of Sunday. I understand that unexpected things happen in all sports. I wouldn’t demand my money back if the team was totally in the dark. But if they sinistrously withheld this information from the public, they would be guilty of perpetrating a fraud on this community.

It’s a shame what Ricky Williams has done to the sports atmosphere in South Florida. Just a week ago, Miami was on top of the sports world. With O’Neal arriving with the Heat, the NBA Franchise is considered an immediate title contender. The underdog Marlins are still only 3 games out of 1st place in the National League East. Even with Wannstedt returning as coach, people had hopes for an AFC East title. Now, these hopes are diminished. The team could nonetheless be decent this year. If this group bands together and has a solid mentality, winning this division is still possible. Unfortunately, much of this is grounded in hope and not based in reality. 8-8 sounds more like it.


Post a Comment

<< Home