Ricky Williams birthday reminds Miami Dolphins fans just how good he could have been

Nov. 18, 2010;  Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back (34) Ricky Williams against the Chicago
Nov. 18, 2010; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back (34) Ricky Williams against the Chicago / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ricky Williams is celebrating his birthday but his name brings back so much more to the Miami Dolphins fanbase. It reminds us of what might have been.

Ricky Williams should sit at the top of the Miami Dolphins rushing leaders list. He does not. His name should have been on the Miami Dolphins Ring of Honor. It is not. Ricky Williams could have been in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He never will be.

To put it all very "bluntly", Ricky Williams was wonderfully fantastic but it was everything else that ruined a career that in reality, he didn't care that much about. To put it "bluntly" Ricky didn't smoke away his career because of addiction, he did so because football wasn't the life he wanted to be defined by.

Williams finished his Miami career with 6,436 yards rushing, barely three hundred behind Larry Csonka. He would have passed Csonka without question if not for the suspensions and retirement. He would have rushed for more touchdowns as well, coming up five short of Csonka's 53.

Dolphins fans will always debate whether or not Williams belongs in the Ring of Honor but the only way that happens is if Stephen Ross sells the team and the next owner doesn't care about smoking Ricky.

Barring that, Ricky Williams will never see his name on the stadium ring. He will never have his name on a cement block in Alumni Plaza. No, Ricky Williams ruined any chance of that. Even as the NFL relaxes the rules as it pertains to marijuana, Williams is from a time when it was frowned upon by ownership and the league. No matter the reason for use.

For Williams, his name will always be associated with both football and his use of pot. For Williams, it probably isn't something he loses sleep over. From everything we have seen over the years, Williams appears happy and content and he should be. He gave his heart and soul to the game of a football who couldn't give him the slack to find a way to relax and unhinge his brain from the spotlight that drove him crazy.

Today, Williams is turning 46 years old. He hasn't played football in the NFL since a stint with the Ravens in 2011.

For the Dolphins, Williams could have been a legendary running back whose name would not have been associated with something else but that is a history that will not change and that's o.k. Dolphins fans know what he was and he was an incredibly fun player to watch. Happy Birthday Ricky!