The Continuing Soap Opera- Ricky

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by Hostile, Nov 6, 2004.

  1. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    Posted on Sat, Nov. 06, 2004

    Writer details final call

    By Harvey Fialkov

    South Florida Sun-Sentinel

    The author of this month's Esquire magazine piece on Ricky Williams believes if Miami Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt and the estranged running back handled the pivotal phone call in July differently, Williams wouldn't have retired.

    Chris Jones, who admittedly smoked marijuana with Williams a "few times" during his eight-day stay in a backpacker's commune in Byron Bay on the east coast of Australia in early September, said in the article that "even in the middle of dialing [Wannstedt], Ricky had no real intention of quitting."

    "Ricky said he was sort of looking for someone to talk to," said Jones, 30, via phone call from Quebec. "If both Ricky and Wannstedt were 100 percent honest, they'd both say they could've done something different."

    Jones said Williams' sudden decision to quit at 27 was prompted by a letter from the NFL informing him that he had failed three drug tests and would be fined $750,000 and suspended for the first four games of the season.

    Williams was also unhappy about being fined $100,000 by the Dolphins for missing some off-season workouts.

    While Wannstedt has continually refrained from commenting on the ongoing Williams case, which is in litigation, a source said Wannstedt had "pleaded with Ricky to think about it and not rush into any hasty decision."

    Jones wrote in his 6,000-word article that chronicled Williams' journey across several continents -- in which, at times, he lived in a tent -- that the elusive tailback didn't buy Wannstedt's sales pitch in which he told him, "If you were my son, I'd tell you that you should keep playing football."

    In the article, Jones wrote: "He was looking for something to pull him back in, for someone to give him one good reason. Sure, a little more money would have helped, but a few kind words might have been enough. He wanted to feel the love. But then he heard Wannstedt's gum-chomping bark, and Ricky flat lost his hold on things."

    "I should have been man enough to have a conversation with Dave before all this happened," Williams told Jones. "I got scared and I just told him I was retiring. It just came out."

    Jones said Williams was planning to travel abroad until next summer before attempting a comeback, but an arbitrator's ruling that Williams should return $8.6 million to the team for breach of contact "accelerated" his desire to seek immediate reinstatement.

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