Of all the sports-related documentaries in ESPN's series "30 for 30," none looks as intriguing as Run Ricky Run, the profile of Dolphins running back Ricky Williams.
In the trailer, Herald columnist (and ESPN personality) Dan Le Batard has the best quote on the enigmatic Williams: "I still don't know as I sit here talking to you whether this is a product of him being bipolar or mentally ill or it's a product of him being the only sane person out there and the rest of us worshiping the wrong things."
See a preview after the jump.
We've put in interview requests with the filmmakers, Sean Pamphilon and Royce Toni, and we've asked the Dolphins if we might even be able to talk to Ricky about the movie.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to New Times Broward-Palm Beach's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling South Florida's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
The film is scheduled to premiere Tuesday, April 27, at 8 p.m. on ESPN.
Pamphilon has a personal statement about the film on the ESPN site:
During my career as a sports broadcasting journalist I was always fascinated and drawn to the introspective, deep thinking athletes who had strained relationships with the media. Former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer, tennis legend Pete Sampras and Heisman winner, Ricky Williams, were three of my personal favorites.
I first met Ricky a month before his senior season at the University of Texas and over the next six years, produced four feature stories on him for ESPN and FOX. When he abruptly retired in the summer of 2004, I was fascinated for he hadn't changed all that much since the time I had met him. However, the cultural perception of him had done a complete 180. Perhaps he wasn't as good as we in the media built him up to be? One thing I knew for certain was that he wasn't as bad as he was torn down to be. Somewhere in between was the reality.
During the critical time of his life crisis--when Ricky was hiding from the world and the media storm he created by quitting football--we spoke several nights a week, including when he was reading the bible by candle light and crashing in a $7 a night tent in a campground in Australia. After a few weeks Ricky asked me to quit my staff producing job in NY and tell his life story. "Good ending, bad ending, whatever," Ricky insisted. At first I said no. I relented because I cared for him personally, but more specifically, he said he wanted his story to be the absolute truth. "99% of the truth is a lie," he insisted. Everyone in his life would be instructed to be honest--both positively and negatively--when interviewed.
What was supposed to be a six month experience turned into a five year odyssey, which at times was very odd. "People have said I'm an enigma," Ricky e-mailed me after I agreed to tell his story, "it's your job to figure it out." I soon realized this task was almost impossible, for over the next five years Ricky Williams struggled mightily himself to find out who really he is. I simply did the best I could to maintain my dignity, do my job and tell a truthful story.