Like when people can tell you where they were when JFK was assassinated, I can tell you where I was when ESPN broke the news that Miami Dolphins Ricky Williams, out of complete nowhere, retired. I was in my basement.
The Dolphins were a team entering the 2004 season with their typical promise and hope that they always do. They had a running back in Williams who can always potentially win a game by himself. Life was decent as a Miami Dolphin fan.
Then, without any warning, he packed his stuff and decided football wasn’t for him. It left 18 year old me very confused because I’ve never seen anything like it. A player, who is dominating his sport, just gets up and stops playing? I guess Barry Sanders did it but at least he played for 10 seasons. where rick only played for five seasons.
Then when it came out that Ricky retired because he wanted to medicate with Marijuana, to say it bluntly, and that he was going to fail a recent drug test, it just made the situation all the more ridiculous. It’s then I sort of started to get a feeling that the Dolphins were a bit cursed because of course, this had to happen to my team.
We’ve come to sort of sympathize with Williams in the years that have passed or at least I have. We understand a little better just how much pain he and others are in being NFL players let alone NFL running backs back then. The pounding they take. Yeah, I know some of you purists will tell me about Larry Csonka being covered in blood and dirt fighting for extra yards and that he loved it. Good for you.
Ricky has become one of my favorite players in Dolphin’s history due to his comeback and just listening to him speak. To me, he’s lived a fascinating life. But when that day happened, being a Dolphin fan wasn’t fun.