Ricky Williams made it to the practice field at the Argos' Erindale College training camp this morning, which is a good thing. Another helping of yesterday’s unveiling of Ricky as philosopher savant and gridiron Mother Teresa and I’d be reaching for the barf bag:
|CARLOS OSORIO/TORONTO STAR|
|Ricky Williams: New ball game.|
Keith Pelley, team president: “We all know Ricky Williams is special on the field but what I’ve learned in the last couple of days is that Ricky Williams is more special off the field. Working side by side with the legendary Mike Clemons, I can categorically foresee how influential these two men can be to Toronto’s youth.”
Pinball Clemons: “I’ve personally given this considerable consideration and unequivocally understand my personal position. This, however, did not satisfy my concerns for our League and our fans. That is, until I met Ricky Williams. He is quite literally one of the kindest and most thoughtful persons I have ever spent time with. He is a kindred spirit, a man after my own heart, whose articulated desire is to serve others. Interestingly enough, I haven’t said anything about his physical talents because it is Ricky Williams the man that is most impressive."
Pelley again, on whether Williams, who will apparently be tested 10 times a month by an NFL official, will be subject to a “zero tolerance” policy on any positive drug test (his teammates, full time members of a league that has no drug testing, face no such policing): "No. That would be totally hypocritical of what the Argonauts stand for."
Williams, on his new number 27: "This is a more positive outlook on life than I've had in the past and I wanted to initiate with No. 27, which is a positive number.”
So there you are. This is an example of “what the Argos stand for” to Pelley, Pinball and the rest, and it’s balance + thought = completion for Williams, a keen believer in numerology.
Geez. This is a football player. He's come from a difficult background, from all accounts. He's different, perhaps even unique - how many players have walked away from millions of dollars to go smoke dope in a tent halfway around the world, then come back on another drug suspension, owing $8.6 million to his team, and child support on three children from three relationships, with another on the way?
There's almost no risk here from the Argos' point of view, save perhaps a complete and utter, Anthony Davislike flop. It's Williams, hightly motivated, taking all the chances: One season trying to salvage his career and reputation, avoid the local hydroponics, come out of it in one piece and, having overrode the Dolphins' objections to come up here, be back in Miami come the end of the year.
Good luck to him, and to the Argos. One thing, though. As others before him have found, this league is much tougher than it seems. Didn't hear any of that yesterday, but I suspect Williams knows about it now.