Monday, July 26, 2004

What is it with running backs?:  (I'll just keep this to the modern era).  First, it was Barry Sanders retiring on the eve of having the all time rushing record, then Robert Smith, of the Vikings just when his career was about to break open,'s Ricky Williams, he of the wedding dress, dreadlocks, and social anxiety disorder.  At age 27, he's leaving it all behind, to go walk, not run, the earth.

The boy never did quite fit in with the rest of the NFL.  He was quiet, he was introspective, and he never was the dominant force that everyone expected, although he was still very good.  He left the "Aints" in a funk, but seemed to have found equanimity in Miama - he even shaved his head to show his renewal.  But alas, it was for naught.  He was just one of those people who never really wanted to be a football player, but because he was so damn good at it, he felt the need to keep going, probably more to please others than himself.  As he put it, he wasn't strong enough to be without football, now he is.  Good luck Ricky, you can stop running now.

MORE:  Well, I suppose Ricky maybe could have made up his mind earlier than two days before camp opens.  He really did screw his team out of the chance to find a replacement (Eddie George, anyone?).  Yes, it's better than opening day, but not by much.  By all accounts, he was in great shape and all gung ho during the off season meetings.  Peter King says it all better than I (no shock there).

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