M. I. A. M. I For Williams

By Zack Cimini

I?m an All Pro athlete that has earned millions of dollars in five years in the league, so why not retire? I can enjoy my life without taking any random drug tests (hint), and live off the money I?ve made the rest of my life. Even if I decide to come back, I shouldn?t have too for a good three to four seasons. So how about I make things even smoother by telling my team I?m retiring right before training camp? If this sounds like a re-run story, that?s because it was brought to you by Ricky Williams.

So in late July he announced his retirement from the league, and left his team from being a Super Bowl contender to the bassment of the NFL. The trade off for Williams deciding so late, lost the respect from all his teammates and cost the job of Dave Wannstedt down the road. Not even two weeks after Wannstedt was fired, Ricky Williams reinstatement is almost finalized. So what is the real reason for Williams wanting to come back so early? Has he found a true love for the game that all of the sudden is back in him? Or was it because Miami won an agreement that Williams must pay $8.6 million because of breaking his contract? Hmmm, it doesn?t take a die hard sports fan to figure this out. Williams real reason for coming back is because M. I A. M. I is the true meaning for his come back.

The letters spelled out are the team he is currently under contract with, but the underlying meaning is that Money Is A Major Issue. It?s what rap artist Pitbull named his CD, but it doesn?t matter what profession your in money is always the biggest issue. If you?re working at a local store as a manager making $20 dollars an hour, you?d be living fairly well in today?s society. The money is good, but doesn?t mean that you?re necessarily happy. Say if a few weeks later you won the lottery, you?re going to obviously quit. Imagine though, that somehow your lottery ticket was found to be illegal and you lost out. You?re going to go back to that same job, and try to get your job security and life together.

That analogy is the problem with sports today. They?re making so much money that they?re winning the lottery every year they play under contract. All of the sudden they come in as hungry rookies, and then three or four years later their play starts to go down. Just take a look at how much money the Indiana Pacers player?s are losing that got suspended. Jermaine O?Neal is losing twenty five percent of his $15 million contract, and Ron Artest is losing out on almost $5 million. More than likely that player is mad about what they?re missing out on, but it?s nothing that they can?t gain back in a heart beat once they step back on that court.

There is no way that any organization could count on Williams as the main guy on their team. Not even if he comes back and has three straight pro bowl seasons, there will always be the chance of him deciding to hang it up. Once you show that you are a quitter, there will always be people second guessing him. Miami worked hard to get Williams from New Orleans, and now they?re going to have to end up getting a meaningless second, third, or fourth round pick for Williams talents. Teams know what they?re going to get from Williams physically, but mentally that is going to be the concern.

There is no doubt that Williams should succeed next year, but how he undermined the roots of the NFL is a blemish that will always be tacked on to his career.


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