While a lot of people are calling Ricky a gonja smoking, self-centered, traitor I stand up and applaud his decision to retire at the height of his career. I applaud his decision to travel the world, smoke his bong, and live his life. And this guy was my number one draft pick. You see the reason why those stats I listed above mean everything is because Ricky can walk while Earl is looking into knee replacements at the age of 46. Ricky will play with his children (should he be so lucky) while Earl can barely get out of bed to attend church on Sunday. Ricky will finally take advantage of the reward for his years of hard work while Earl owns and operates his own successful business and is working just as many long days as he did when he played in the NFL.
This isn’t meant to be a slur against Mr. Campbell but come on lets face the facts. If Ricky were to continue playing we all know that Miami would have ridden him like a circus pony, shot him up with a million different 4 syllable pain killers, sucked him dry and then when he couldn’t perform up to their desired standards they would take into consideration his years of commitment and dedication and then they would trade him or simply release him. This is the way things are in the NFL plain and simple. So why are so many people surprised when a few of our Sunday Gladiators who have put their work in retire while they can still place one foot in front of other without wondering when their pain medication prescription will be refilled?
A few years back I had the opportunity to work with San Francisco NFL alumni during a charity auction. I walked into a room full of wheel chairs and knuckles the size the golf balls. These guys had been put through the wringer and though I was then and still am in awe of their strength, grit and commitment. It also made me think about how the game has changed.
None of guys, guys like Bob St. Clair, RC “Alley Oop” Owens, and Y.A. Tittle to name a few, made the multi-million dollar signing bonuses that players make today. These are the guys that played for the love of the game, the glory of a championship, and the admiration of their fans. These are the true gladiators of the NFL. Today it’s about incentive laced contracts, massive signing bonuses and shoe deals. Its about luxury suites, ticket sales, and merchandising.
I am sure that the University of Texas made more then enough off of Ricky and Earl. What did they get in return? A scholarship you say? How much do you think giving those scholarships away costs the University? A few hundred thousand each maybe? Now how much money do you think they made from ticket sales and merchandising from Ricky and Earl? A few million to say the least. Come on. You think that Wayne Huizenga, the owner of the Miami Dolphins, is more upset about losing Ricky Williams the player that could take help his team become the NFL champions or losing Ricky William the cash cow that made him millions upon million in ticket sales, merchandising and television rights?
The days of playing out of a passion for the game and a desire to be the best are coming to a close as franchises use players up and spit them out like sunflower seeds out of little league baseball player’s mouth. How can we blame a few players who saw the opportunity, worked hard to make it, earned every penny and our respect, and then retired at the height of their careers? Lord knows I can’t.
Good luck Ricky and remember…don’t drink the bong water.
Now let me step off my soapbox…Ahh. Ok let’s get on to the questions. A lot of Keeper league questions again this week so lets take a look.
Chris J: Who do you think will land Denver RB position: Bell, Hearst, Anderson or Griffin?
Corey D: None of them. Denver will more then likely drive Fantasy Football players nuts by going with a RBBC approach. I am sure that Hearst will get his fair share of the carries and potentially become the primary back but he will share time with one to two other backs namely Tatum Bell.
I know that it is hard to stay away from Denver RBs seeing as they usually fair incredibly well but I would recommend not picking any of them. This season is going to be about developing Bell, their future sole back. Hearst will fill in nicely as the “starter” but Denver knows that he is not the back of the future for them so expect to see Bell rotated in regularly and Anderson and Griffin getting looks here and there.
funkdfyd22 from Columbia, MD: Quick question, I’ll probably have the chance to get either Kevan Barlow or Fred Taylor coming back up at the 3rd pick in the second round of a snake draft in a 10 man league (8th pick first round). Our league system is basic; 6 pts for pay dirt and 10 yards a point, but receptions are also a point. Which should I go with? Or do you think there’s someone else I should look to in the running back department? Thanks a ton.
Corey D: Out of the two I would go with Taylor. Barlow is a great back but he is going to ridden hard and put up wet in a limited SF offense. Don’t be surprised if he misses a few weeks due to bumps and bruises. Taylor has stayed off the injury list the last two seasons and is coming off his best season. Look for an increase in pay dirt visits from Taylor and his receiving ability will be more of a factor this season.
Muscleape from Limerick Pa: Well we debated the Julius Jones vs Kevin Jones RB situations. With Eddie George now in Dallas, that really drops Julius Jones down the board. Some out there might disagree with me, but I point out to Bill Parcells 1990 Giants team. They drafted a talented RB in Rodney Hampton, but Parcells gave the carries to 33-year-old Otis Anderson. Anderson rumbled for 11 TDs that year with 800 yards. Unless George gets hurt, I see him putting up similar numbers. So, Mr. Dragge as you stated before Kevin Jones is the better pick at this point.
My real question is how will Antwone Smith figure into the titan’s backfield this year? Since Eddie George has been Jeff Fisher’s only back while he has been a head coach, do you think Fisher prefers a veteran to start?
Corey D: Good Question, I like Smith but I think that he will factor in only slightly. Brown is going to be the man in Tennessee until he proves otherwise. I think Brown has what it takes to be the full time back and he should hold off Smith as a starter. I think Fisher knows this and will give Brown every opportunity to shine. As far as George being the only back the Fisher has started, Brown is the perfect replacement.
Brown has the same stature and size, running style (upright), and the ability to lower the shoulder on an incoming DB. In a lot of ways Fisher will be looking at mirror image of George. He can only hope that Brown can mirror George’s early year stats.
Honestly I think Smith will only be a spell back for Brown, stealing carries here and there but nothing major.