If there's one thing that Dolphins running back Ricky Williams has been, it's unconventional. He lived on a beach in Australia, played football in Toronto in part so he could do a side job as a yoga instructor, appeared on a magazine cover in a dress, and boasted of the benefits of smoking pot.
"Tony goes through a lot of effort to show us the things it takes to win football games," Williams said last night to WQAM-560's Sid Rosenberg. "Not turning the ball over, converting third downs, scoring in the Red Zone. He spends a lot of time saying, 'If you do these things, you win.' And sometimes I feel personally that he does a little bit too much. My personal opinion is if you have the right attitude that you guys
are going to win, then all that other stuff takes care of itself."
Add criticizing his coach to the long list of things Williams has done that go against the very fabric of professional football.
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Williams may be an oddity in the world of professional sports, where athletes are expected to repeat tired mantras about teamwork when asked questions from reporters. But he's also refreshingly real -- a guy who has refused to conform to an NFL stereotype and deny himself the things that make him weird Ricky Williams.
Take the pot smoking. Williams admitted early in his time with the Dolphins to being diagnosed with a social anxiety disorder, which attributed to his shy demeanor in the locker room. He briefly served as a spokesman for the drug Paxil. But when asked if pot or Paxil is better, he had a quick answer: "Marijuana is ten times better for me than Paxil."
Truth is, he's right. Paxil has a list of side effects that'll fill one of those pamphlets they stuff into the prescription box. It causes birth defects in pregnant women and increases suicidal tendencies of teens. Worse, it's maker, GlaxoSmithKline, has been accused of mixing up pills, meaning takers of Paxil may be getting double doses or some other drug entirely.
Pot? Side effects include increased appetite and propensity to watch cartoons. Here's a drug that helps cancer victims gain weight and glaucoma sufferers see again and yet is just a few dollars per toke. What pot needs is more athletes like Williams. Because let's be honest: He's one of many pro athletes who smoke the stuff, yet he's one of the few with the balls to come out and admit it.