Tag Archives: ricky williams

Williams, Ricky (4)

poff92 rwilliamsbow98 rwilliamssco10 rwilliams
Cards: Playoff Contenders 2004, Bowman’s Best 1999, Score 2010 (83/499), Photo Memorabilia, Donruss Elite 2009 (807/899), SP Authentic Fabrics Gold 2004 (30/100), Playoff Absolute Spectrum 2003 (033/150), Topps Heritage 2002*, Topps Heritage 2005*, Donruss Elite 2009 Red (30/899), UT Upper Deck 2011 All Time Alumni, UT Upper Deck 2011 All-Americans, Score 2011 Scorecard (—/000), Crown Royale 2001 (167/519), Atomic 2001, Absolute Memorabilia Ground Hogs (30/50), Upper Deck 2003 Sweet Spot,sco11 rwilliams Absolute Heroes 2009, Panini UT 2015 A, Panini UT 2015 B, Upper Deck UT 2011 Icons, Panini Contenders 2016, Bowman 2010, Upper Deck 2001, Playoff Prestige 2010.
Acquired: IP 10/8/15, Gameday-Anheuser Busch HEB signing, IP 12/22/15, Town North Nissan Signing, 1/16/16, Wag-A-Bag
4/2/16, 34 Wine & Spirits Bottle Signing.
See Also: Little Earl, Ricky Williams (2), Ricky Williams (3)
* Sent to Deadhorse for Future Considerations.

Ricky again continues to be one of my favorite in person players to meet.  I always introduce poff03 rwilliams spec
myselfudut11 rwilliams NCAA to him by my first name and then  get bashful because whenever he sees me, he smiles and says, “I know you. I see you everywhere.”  It means a lot that a player takes the time out of his day to do the little things such
as that (and it’s not in a negative tone either). Recently he started offering concussion therapy alternatives for former players- all for free, really underlining his commitment to helping and healing others. He’s done a lot of motivational and public speaking as of late, and has gotten his Masters from the University of Texas. udut11 rwilliams ATATruly Ricky seems at peace with himself and it’s a wonderful thing to see especially after pho mem15 rwilliamsall he had gone through.
Every time I think I have finished getting Ricky’s autograph, I find 6 more cards I like. That’s the dilemma of being a collector sometimes. It can be difficult to draw the line and find where to stop. For me, I really covet card design, but I also am fascinated by the autograph when it seals the deal and the memory.  -This leads to infinite possibilities and endings. I’ve been asked before: “What do you do with so many autographs of one guy?” My general feeling is that I honor their contribution to a very violent and punishing
sport by remembering them.

ud01 rwilliamspaut15_rwilliamsI arrived early for the Anheuser-Busch Gameday signing figuring that an hour and a half would be enough time to secure a decent spot in line. It was Ricky Williams of course. When I arrived, I was surprised to find that not only were there no fans waiting, most of the staff at the local HEB did not know Ricky was coming. After being directed to the toiletries line to start my creepy, lonely one man line, I waited patiently while everybody set up.
A few people skipped me in line, which was okay. How were they supposed to know I was the front of the line?  It was no skin off my
nose. When I did get up to Ricky, we talked a bitpoffp10 rwilliams pa16ctd rwilliams rwabout his concussion therapy and I asked him to sign a few cards. I unabashedly packed 7 cards. Some fans frown upon this behavior, but I have no problem if he decides to stop at 2. It’s really up to him.
Ricky jumped right in and signed away. It was then that the handler representative from Anheuser or Gameday jumped in and told me that there was a limit of two autographs per
person. I’d swear, Ricky heard him and didn’t care. He just kept signing. The handler then said okay that’s the last one, and Ricky signed one more card and photo for me and bid me a smiling farewell. The total at that point was 3 and apanUT15_rwilliams bow09 rwilliamssigned photo.
The policy really didn’t make any sense to me because there was nobody in the line, Ricky and I sorta knew each other, they didn’t put limits on the previous stops, and in an asinine
way what was to stop me from just showing up at the next location and getting two more? Still I respect that since it was a free event.

A childhood friend of mine worked right around the corner. He is also an avid collector and fan of the sport and wanted to get a photo and autograph with Ricky, so I agreed to give him one of my extras if he came up there. Not only did he get his photo, he got all the additional cards signed and gave them to me.  As thanks I let him have one of his choice for his own personal collection.

abhe10 rwilliamsI went to the Town North Nissan signing in December. It was a surprisingly short line, and the car dealership wasn’t data mining or requiring test drives of fans. I was actually taken aback because there were employees of the store in line, and they were brazenly talking about selling extra footballs.
When I got to the front, Ricky asked me where he knew me from because he’s seen me so often.  I told him that the Town North area at01 rwilliamsused to be my ‘hood’ and that I had seen him at the HEB event when we talked about concussions.  I then explained my modus operandi to him- and how I just have all these cards of him, sitting around doing nothing. I might as well get them signed. There’s just something about the autograph on the card that’s addicting and creates new memories out of them. I admitted as much that it possibly might seem weird, but he was ud03 rwilliams SSvery cool about it. Even more comforting was the BAM promoter, who sees me everywhere, didn’t give me the evil eye (like I think he does). In fact he was really, really nice to me. I mean maybe that’s what it took for him to understand how harmless I am, but I digress. Ricky and I talked again about concussions, places he’s traveled to and Tien Tan Buddha. He promised to remember who I was for next time.

ab10 rwilliams GHI met up with Shawn at the Wag-A-Bag for the Ricky Williams Signing in January of 2016. It was a large location, but jam packed with aisles and aisles of stuff, so it was hard to navigate.  When I got to Ricky, he smiled and said hello. I wanted to prove to him that I was
a collector, so I had packed all my autographs in a binder to show him. Before I could finish explaining that I had brought them and he could sign what he wanted- Ricky told me he’d doe09 rwilliamssign them all without batting an eye. He told me that when he was a kid, the Chargers and Raiders were his favorite teams, but definitely not the Rams. He really liked the Crown Royale patch card of him from his Saints days, and pointed out how he was squaring his
shoulders. He also thought the Upper Deck Dolphins 2003 Sweet Spot was cool looking. He thought his Score 2011 was also worth mentioning, and joked with me that he thoughtcr01 rwilliams the would be tackler was racking his balls.  Williams also was very proud of his cards from his playing days in Baltimore. By that point he had finished signing all eight cards that I had brought, and I wished him well and went on my way.

At the 34 Wine and Spirits the gatekeeper blocked me, but Ricky stepped in. Ricky said,  “It’s okay. He’s my bud.” Ricky signed UTUD11_rwilliams_iconseverything on me again. (This time it was only 4 cards.) We talked about travel, and that Hong Kong was on his bucket list. He asked
about the weather, and lamented about how he was not able to make it down there this last time he was in China. We then talked about collecting and how I store all my autographs in binders. The reason I do so is because if I did anything else or it took up more room in the house, my wife would killdo09 rwilliams me.  We discussed the merits of the Panini UT  2015 set vs the Upper Deck UT 2011 sets of cards. I objected to the high amount of ‘filler’ cards. You know, cards that nobody cares about like, here’s the UT Swimming Pool and here’s something that just says Austin on the front. We also talked at length about my history in collecting.

ud04 rwilliamsAgain later in the year at the season opener against Notre Dame, I got Ricky’s autograph on a few more cards during the Heisman House Tour. He hadn’t seen his Panini Contenders 2016 Rush Week  card, and asked me where I got it. It was pretty obvious how much he liked it. Ricky has become a spokesperson for the responsible usage of marijuana. He’s been in the news for saying that if marijuana was legal he would be in the Pro Football HoF today. As controversial astoh02 rwilliams this sounds: I completely agree with him. As the era of the bell-cow back is now coming to a close, Ricky was leaned heavily upon by the New Orleans Saints and the Miami Dolphins.  A career member of the 10,000 yard club, that led the league in carries 2 years in a row (with backbreaking 380+ carry seasons),  I think Williams could have possibly eclipsed the NFL rushing record or TD record if not for suspensions/retirement. Making the simple calculation of taking his career game average of 61.9 and multiplying that times 16 gives us a stat of 1,089 yards. Plug those modest numbers in for the two seasons he was away from the game and the 2007 campaign, and he’s got well over 12,000 yards. Now if we are even more generous and calculate out the numbers based on his first 5 seasons before his impromptu retirement, Ricky had a game average of 79.425, which would push his season average to roughly 1,274 yards. Considering Ricky was the focal point of the Dolphin attack, we add in well over 3,000 yards to his 10,009 career yards on those missed seasons.  This would place him in line with other hall of fame enshrinees such as LaDanian Tomlinson, Eric Dickerson, and Jerome Bettis.

The other thing you have to consider is the toll that the carries were taking on his body and the way it has on other runningbacks in NFL history.  While his methods and reasons at the time were frowned upon, the concept of using marijuana to treat ailments has been documented extensively for many years. No I am not attempting to get into a philosophical discussion about the value and uses of drugs, however I think that the whole situation contributes as a whole to the general perception and misunderstanding of Ricky Williams and the unique legacy that he has left upon the league, with the media, and in the hearts and minds of fans.

Ricky has been a social advocate and businessman for responsible marijuana usage. It’s tough to be taken seriously especially when it comes to a drug such as marijuana that has such an association to being a slacker, but Ricky takes it all very seriously. I think he’s approaching the whole issue the right way. He and I had a short discussion about it, and I was surprised that he jumped so quickly towards approaching and introducing the issue to the general public, with patience, respect, and ease.

 

Williams, Ricky “Little Earl” (3)

adr11 rwilliamspoff01 rwilliamssco09 R williamsSP99 R Williams
Cards: Score 2009, Upper Deck 2006, SP 1999, Adrenalyn 2009, Playoff Contenders 2001, Power Deck 2006.
Acquired: 2/6/13, IP Legends Luncheon, 11/17/13 – GMC Texas Tour.
See Also: Ricky WilliamsRicky Williams (2)

Just when I thought I was going to write a post about how I’m running out of things to say about Ricky, he has a luncheon where he agrees to do an honest question and answer session with all the fans in the lunchroom audience. He discussed his foundation work (Ricky Williams Foundation), and a wide range of topics covering his life growing up as a latchkey kid. Ricky was very forthcoming about his travels, and that he had actually contemplated retirement as early as his second year in the NFL. Ultimately Williams made the decision in his last season in Baltimore to retire, after a brief conversation with Bill Parcells.

Ricky enjoyed playing the game because it was a game to him. It was fun. He talked about the growing problem of players confusing sportsmanship with competitiveness.  Williams also talked about how he was even keel when the team won or when the team lost. He really just didn’t let it get to him, and this made him sometimes
appear weird to his teammates.

UD09  R williamsWhen I got up to him he signed all three of my cards. At this point, he recognizes me when I come up, and I gave him his Starting Lineup figure as a humorous gift- which I think he got a kick out of. I asked him jokingly if he had ever used the deer antler spray, and he very candidly told me his answer… He clarified that the greater issue is that at some point we are talking about substances that people put in their body, much of it naturally that is already used or ingested in other cultures. He really didn’t tell me firmly if it worked, however Ricky pointed out the greatest problem that the NFL faces in drug testing is the use of HGH (Human Growth Hormone), and that the problem is rampant, since the league’s testing isn’t able to completely sniff it out.

ud98pd rwilliamsRicky lives in Austin and I pretty much stop whatever I am doing to go to his events. I heard about this event on 1300 The Zone (The Longhorn Station), about a week before and decided to take a crack at the event. I had previously met Ricky on two other occasions, and he had signed a total of 4 cards between the events for me. Still there seems to be a never ending supply of cards or items I’d love to get the former Heisman winner to sign for my collection including these gems. I very much enjoy his refreshing, incredibly intelligent, and unique view on the world and always look forward to the events he speaks at. If there was ever a player that I’d refer to as a shaman, I’d pretty much put Ricky in that category.

rickyagainIn November, Ricky once again appeared, this time at the GMC Texas Tour. I stocked up on autograph vouchers and then camped out in line. After asserting my spot as the first person in line over poachers who hovered near the gate or put their gear down and walked off, I waited patiently for Ricky to arrive. Williams had signed to work with Coach Larry Kennan at Incarnate Word out of San Antonio as a runningback coach, and he came in wearing their colors. As the only fan that recognized him, Ricky thought he was going to get away with his stunt, but I caught him when he walked by. When they finally opened up the queue for autographs we were limited to just one per person, so I walked up and got my autograph and just talked to Ricky about his experience at IW.  It was a rough start when I asked him to sign with the bronze colored marker, but because his face frowned, I immediately backpedaled and said that I’d be happy with whatever marker he’d like. His face lit up then when we talked about the WLAF and Kennan’s days with the Monarchs, but before you knew it, a handler came over and shooed me off. I then told Ricky I’d return and when I got to the front of the line, he’d know he had gone through the whole line at least once. I waited patiently and returned to the front. The pretty line keeper  (who comped me a Roy Williams autographed photo) helped me pass the time for a few minutes, and before I knew it, I was back at the table talking to Ricky. He enjoyed talking to me so much, he volunteered and literally grabbed my cards and signed all the extras I had with me before I left the table. He told me about Kennan’s coaching style and we joked about what the “Hook ‘Em” sign would be for Incarnate Word.

tnt13g  rwilliamsAgain, like Priest Holmes, I created a custom card for Ricky based on the ‘Long Tom’ design of the GameDay cards more recently of the 90s. I was really happy with the results, but continue to struggle with the paper thickness as 20lb is not a universal weight. Still the ink absorbed well into the card and it does look legitimate enough that he did take pause to look impressively at it.

At the time of Ricky’s retirement he was the 26th member of the 10,000 yard club. While occasional rumblings talk about inducting him into the Pro Football HoF, his legacy will need to be redefined elsewhere, as old timers will look at Ricky’s rampant disregard of NFL policies as blemishes on his career. Also with guys like Ottis Anderson (slightly more yards and an MVP honor) still waiting in line, Williams getting in would be seen as a major coup. In the meantime Ricky is finding a new life in football coaching runningbacks for Incarnate Word and dabbling in recruiting.

Williams, Ricky “Little Earl” (2)

Cards: Donruss Rookies & Stars 09, UT Upper Deck 2011 MM x2
Acquired: In person, Ricky Williams Tailgate 9/8/2012.
See Also: Ricky Williams, Ricky Williams (3), Ricky Williams (4)


Late in August, I got an email in the evening from the Ricky Williams Foundation.  When I opened it up I couldn’t believe my eyes. The Foundation was holding Ricky’s First Tailgating event, for only a small donation of $25.00. Included in the price was BBQ, beer, games, meeting Ricky, and getting a few autographs.  It was a no brainer for me, and I bought two tickets immediately, so that I could drag Josh along this time. We arrived a bit after twelve, and parking was a hassle because of the pregame stuff going on for New Mexico. After a lot of blind wandering, we located his event that was being treated very low key. The BBQ was great, and eventually we got Ricky’s autograph on a few items. I was really pleased to get him on these 3 cards this time.

Ricky was very friendly with fans and many of them he was happy to speak to or allow to pet his Heisman. He allowed everybody to take photos and grab autographs.  I got to share Ricky’s Heisman with him which is a bit unwieldy. I’d guess the trophy was about 20 pounds or so, and there was some nicks and tears to the foundation of the base. Still it was very kind of him to let me do it, since I have been getting into doing poses with players other than the normal conventional, ‘stand there and smile pose’. Overall I think it was a great PR move by him and his team, and since I had a great time volunteering at a Christian Okoye Foundation event, I volunteered to help Ricky Williams Foundation at other events, if they needed assistance.

A bit about these cards. I really like the treatment that the Rookies & Stars went through for 2009. It still remains one of my favorite modern day sets and this card is exceptional. I got an idea after witnessing a Texans fan at a Mario Williams signing last year toting around jersey card, that I should consider getting a few of them signed. The red cards, are jersey cards and they are absolutely beautiful with it placed right below the player’s image on the card. It’s a very well integrated design, even if they use the type font ‘Birth of a Hero’.

With the UT Upper Deck Monumental Moments cards, we have two cards that frame Williams’ contributions to the history of Texas football.  First
up is the card in which he broke Tony Dorsett’s career rushing record against A&M. It’s not a bad card at all.  The action is framed well and you get the point of the card in its summation of his achievement. The second card, which highlights his school record 350 yard stomping of Iowa State,(which broke the record previously held by Roosevelt Leaks) is an equally nice card with the same warts. It really showcases how hard Ricky as to take down as 4 defenders are frantically in frame trying to catch him. I did have to use the baby powder on both cards to remove the sheen, but it worked like a charm so there was no marker loss there.  I did not like how
they used the ‘fat T’ logo on the right hand side of the card. It feels too University of Tennessee. (Any well minded UT fan would’ve used the combined UT logo to differentiate from the Volunteers.) In the meantime, I had a great time and look forward to going to and or working other events and getting a few more cards signed by Ricky in the future.