July 25, 2004

Ricky isn't running anymore.: (Miami Herald link, registration required) In a shocker, Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams has told the Miami Herald that he's retiring...one week before training camp begins. Between Ogunleye's holdout and now this, it's going to be a very, very rough season for the Dolphins.

posted by Sister Havana to football at 12:34 AM - 25 comments

Was just about to come here with Robert Smith: part deux (espn link). I was browing CNNSI and read something about Robert Smith and his book. Next thing I know, I cruise to ESPN.com and see this. Defintely huge news as it pretty much kills the Dolphins' season and Dave's job.

posted by jmd82 at 01:25 AM on July 25

What a waste of talent... this retirement is worse than Barry Sanders' in my opinion.

posted by dusted at 01:42 AM on July 25

I don't consider it a waste. Being good at a sport holds NO obligation to playing, I think. If he hated his job in the NFL and could walk away from millions, all the more power to him. When my friends or family hate and consequently complain about their jobs, I tell them to find a new one regardless of how good they at the current job are and find a job they'll be happy doing (also economic and other factors to consider, you ya'll get the picture). My opinion does not change for a sports athlete. They are just as entitled to quiting their job and finding another calling as any other Jon Doe in the world.

posted by jmd82 at 02:08 AM on July 25

Well the Dolphins weren't poised on the brink of Super Bowl glory anyway.

posted by molafson at 02:33 AM on July 25

I think he's very smart. RBs get beat up very quickly in the NFL. If he's been careful with his finances he should be set for life. Why not quit now while he still has the health to fully enjoy it?

posted by gyc at 04:50 AM on July 25

Not sure how set his finances can be. Didn't he basically play for free his first year or so off of that awesome deal Master P worked for him?

posted by pivo at 05:37 AM on July 25

Pro football destroys the bodies and health of many of its players. My brother-in-law was a neighbor of one of the Redskins players during their last Super Bowl run. He takes shots every single day for pain and has the knees of an 80-year-old man, among other problems. For that reason, I can't really blame anyone for getting out early, especially a running back -- the position that takes more of a physical pounding than any other on the field.

posted by rcade at 07:47 AM on July 25

Um. Crap. At least this happened before my fantasy draft... but dang, the Fins are going to suck.

posted by tieguy at 08:50 AM on July 25

Ok, it's one thing for him to want to get out before football wears on him. It's another to do this right now, just days before camp, with Eddie George, Antowain Smith, Garrisson Hearst all off the market. If he's been thinking about this, he should have warned the Dolphins a long time ago so they could have done something about it. Now they're pretty much screwed.

posted by swank6 at 09:43 AM on July 25

Forgot to mention, the Dolphins to depth chart at RB: Sammy Morris, Travis Minor.

posted by swank6 at 09:48 AM on July 25

I'm waiting for the NFL to ban all runningbacks from having contact with Jim Brown.

posted by usfbull at 10:24 AM on July 25

This is very much like Barry Sanders and Robert Smith. They were all backs that didn't play for the love of football. The game just happened to be something they were very good at, and exploited it for as much money as they could. When the risk / reward level started to change for them, they got out. Williams was the type of runner who took a lot of punishment. Considering that he played for the dollars, not the love of the game, it makes sense that he got out before his body broke down. Unfortunately, what is good for him screws over the Fish. They will have NO running game. Much like the Lions when Sanders retired a few days before camp, the Dolphins will be scrambling. The Lions are still trying to recover a ground game after his retirement. They had to pretty much make do with what they had that first season, along with picking up a washed up Greg Bell, and basically got no production. They then overpaid for an average back in James Stewart during free agency the next off season. This year may be the first since Barry retired, with Artose Pinner and Kevin Jones, that the running game will be respectable. It took 3 years to recover from the retirement. Miami is now in the same boat. Methinks Eddie George would have been their first call if he hadn't signed with Dallas. Right now though, anyone they find will be older salary cap casualties, never were's, and used to be's.

posted by bawanaal at 10:52 AM on July 25

I think the fine of four weeks' pay a few months back for smoking some blunt was probably the final straw. And hey, this is a great time of year to go sightseeing in Asia!

posted by billsaysthis at 11:09 AM on July 25

Speculation over at pro football talk is that he's "retiring" because he won't pass a drug test. He'll sit out a month, get clean and then come back to the dolphins.

posted by mick at 11:12 AM on July 25

I blame the haircut.

posted by Stan Chin at 01:03 PM on July 25

Also, I'll give $50 to the Newspaper sportswriter who prints the headline, "Ricky Runs No More, Dedicates Life to Weblog."

posted by Stan Chin at 01:11 PM on July 25

I love his website oh so much.

posted by blarp at 01:38 PM on July 25

With apologies to all the Fishfans out there - I love it when althletes do shit like this. Enjoy yourself Ricky - just remember what happened to Bison Dele.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:02 PM on July 25

This is going to be the worst season since 1969.

posted by tieguy at 02:22 AM on July 26

Ricky can do what he wants, and obviously does. But he hasn't been Brown, Sanders, or even Smith by a long shot. Those comparisons are almost comical. I can't imagine a team ever depending on Ricky for anything. He should have made this decision weeks ago. He really is better off running around the globe searching for answers. Now, somehow, miami must find a way to replace a back who averaged 3.5 yards a carry last season. /sarcasm. Jim Brown indeed.

posted by justgary at 09:35 AM on July 26

Here's Dan Le Batard's take on Williams' move. Apparently, Ricky's sports goal was to play in college, not the pros. Strange dude.

posted by rcade at 11:19 AM on July 26

From Page 2's Greatest Early Retirements: [Doak] Walker died in 1998 after being paralyzed in a skiing accident. Ricky Williams, two-time winner of the Doak Walker Award, given to the top college running back in the country, met Walker in 1997. The two became friends, and after Walker died, Williams honored his hero by wearing Walker's number, 37, in the Texas-Oklahoma game. "Doak Walker was who I want to be," said Williams.

posted by jason streed at 11:29 AM on July 26

I'm not sure why the "Greatest Early Retirements" doesn't list Ken Dryden. He really should be a shoo-in: 9 seasons (he played only 6 games in his first season) 258 wins 57 losses 74 ties 2.24 GAA 46 shutouts 5 Vezina Trophies (best goalie) 1 Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP) 1 Calder Trophy (rookie of the year) 6 Stanley Cups Retired at age 32 to become a lawyer.

posted by grum@work at 02:38 PM on July 29

Ricky failed 3rd drug test.

posted by garfield at 02:45 PM on July 29

Grum - TOTALLY. You should write that one in.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:32 PM on July 29

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