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ESPN 30 for 30: Run Ricky Run

Discussion in 'Football: NFL, College, High School' started by the futants, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. the futants

    the futants Contributing Member

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    http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post/_/id/12344/run-ricky-run-examines-a-complex-life

    Ricky Williams stares glumly out the little window in the front door, watching the rain fall outside his leased one-bedroom home in Nevada City, Calif.

    He's 27 years old, owns a Heisman Trophy and has made millions of dollars. But he's a lost soul, disheveled and out of football because of too many failed drug tests. He turns to the camera he invited to film him for a documentary and delivers an agitated, rambling response to a question.

    Ricky Williams practices yoga at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm in Grass Valley, Calif.
    The lens eventually zooms in, showing chunks of food entangled in his nappy beard. Williams shrugs. He doesn't care.

    The latest offering in ESPN's "30 for 30" documentary film series, "Run Ricky Run: Hard to Tackle, Harder to put a Finger On," provides a compelling look at the mystifying Miami Dolphins back with intimate footage shot over nearly six years. It will debut April 27.

    "A gentle man in a brutal business, he of the naïve, best intentions, asked me to make this film so his kids would know who their father was in case he never came home," filmmaker Sean Pamphilon narrates in the opening scene.

    "Within weeks of his bizarre retirement from the NFL in 2004, the man who was universally loved when I first met him asked me to tell his life story with one directive: absolute truth."

    Pamphilon's access provides a fascinating look at Williams' peculiar odyssey and tries to mesh the superstar running back with the conflicted son with the prolific mar1juana smoker with the inspired yoga scholar with the absentee father with the diagnosed narcissist.

    "It made me kind of squirmy," Williams recently told reporters about the documentary he requested. "There's some uncomfortable stuff in there."

    Pamphilon's camera captures Williams smoking pot while clicking through Dolphins game film on a laptop computer and while strumming a guitar. Pamphilon tracks Williams across the country and sits down with a variety of family members, friends, former coaches, teammates and reporters.

    The film succinctly summarizes the madcap, meandering path that was Williams' football career, but the examination of his personal life is what resonates.

    Most gripping are interviews with Williams' parents. Sandy Williams reveals Errick Williams Sr. was arrested in 1984 after being accused of ordering Ricky to photograph him in the nude.

    "When he grew up," Sandy Williams says, "he wanted to be a policeman so he can shoot his father and get away with it because a policeman can shoot you and not get in trouble."

    Errick Williams Sr. denies the allegation that tore the family apart.

    "What happened? Nothing, nothing sexual toward these children at all," Errick Williams Sr. says.

    "What they say I was, I'm not that. What they say I did, I did not do. ... God is my secret judge. Never done it, and I feel like I haven't gotten a fair shake with that, but that's OK. That's OK because the bible also says you do reap what you sow."

    Sandy Williams acknowledges her son carries guilt over his father's indelible status as a sex offender. Later in the film, a more-at-peace Ricky Williams delivers a comment about his family that only raises more questions about what really occurred.

    "What I carry with me still was how everything went down and that the event, and mainly me, I was the one that was used to get rid of my father," Williams says.

    Janey Barnes, Williams' former counselor, explains she diagnosed him with social anxiety disorder and put him on Paxil because of "his admission to me that he often only felt safe when he was in his home, in the dark."

    When filming began for "Run Ricky Run," he had three children to three women in three states.

    "When it comes to women, my son always has been a D-O-G," Sandy Williams says. "Always."

    "Sometimes I pray that I wake up and I don't love him," says his wife, Kristin Williams, in an interview that predates their September 2009 marriage. They've had two more children, giving him five in all.

    At the end of the 51-minute film, we don't see the same restless spirit from six years earlier.

    Asked what he loves about football, he unsurprisingly responds with a philosophical thought that can be applied universally.

    "I love seeing people take themselves to that uncomfortable place," Ricky Williams says, "overcome it and see progress, results, improvement."
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Microfridge

    Microfridge Contributing Member

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    A beloved Texas alum, I'm happy for him that he has turned his life around (or appears to be) and still trying to make a name for himself in the NFL. When people talk about Ricky, they talk about what he has accomplished on the field in the Wildcat, rather than the mar1juana charges and his bizarre actions off the field.

    Will definitely check this film out and hope for nothing but the best for him.
     
  3. McNultyisDrunk

    McNultyisDrunk Contributing Member

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    I remember running into Ricky on the UT campus back in '98 when I was a freshman. He was just sitting on a bench outside a lecture hall by himself brooding and in deep thought. He definitely put off a vibe of "I hope no one bothers me", so I just let the man be. Then I read about his social anxiety disorder and it all made sense.

    I will definitely be checking out this edition of 30 for 30.
     
  4. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    his run that broke the rushing record is still one of the best sports experiences i've had in person.
     
  5. Baqui99

    Baqui99 Contributing Member

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    Yep, I was a freshman back in '98 as well. Remember seeing him on my way to class just about every day walking down Speedway. The guys I knew on the football team said that while everyone loved Ricky on the team, the guy liked to do his own thing and was pretty quiet for the most part. He used to hang out with the swim team, and dated a Bangladeshi girl.

    That said, he was treated like a rock star on campus that year. When I went back to school in '06 for my MBA I saw Kevin Durant get the same treatment.
     
  6. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

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    "Bits of food in his beard" is where I get off. Here's hoping his brother doesn't throw him overboard out at sea.
     
  7. ChrisBosh

    ChrisBosh Member

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    He played in the CFL for a while, got to hear numerous interviews. My biggest surprise was how intelligent/articulate he was, definitely a thinker, however at times it seemed like he was lost in his own little world. Good on him for getting back on his feet.....
     
  8. what

    what Member

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    How many thought this was a thread about Ricky Henderson. Ricky freaking Williams?
     
  9. updawg

    updawg Member

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    most would think its about Ricky Williams

    what a great college player and could have been the same in the pros
     
  10. what

    what Member

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    When I think of great running rickey's I don't think of doak walker with a dubie. Sorry. Maybe you do, that's cool.
     
  11. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

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    Wow. Doak Walker, "doobies?" You just get back from the Bill Haley concert?
     
  12. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    When I think of great running backs in football, I think of what they've done on the field, and not about their weed intake, or lack of weed intake at all.
     
  13. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

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    Unless it's clearly detracted from their greatness. Like it's hard to think about Lawrence Phillips without imagining a Husker co-ed getting dragged down a flight of stairs. Or Cecil the Diesel breaking into his girlfriend's apartment while she's sleeping and rubbing his schmeckie on her cheek.
     
  14. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    Well, that is a point. I think in Phillips case it has totally overshadowed his career.

    But I think harming another is different than harming yourself.

    I do think it might add a "what might have been?" asterisk or bring up argument about potential and wasted potential, but I don't think it diminishes what was done on the field in the case of someone who hasn't harmed others.
     
  15. Blake

    Blake Contributing Member

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    I thought this was going to be about Rickey Henderson as well (just thought it was misspelled).

    This looks equally interesting and I will definitely check it out
     
  16. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    Don't look now but he's about to pass Earl Campbell for career rushing yards.
     
  17. steddinotayto

    steddinotayto Contributing Member

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    I still think one of the biggest (if not THE) mistakes Williams made during his pro career was that ridiculous contract Master P concocted. It had a lot of *ahem* unreal bonuses that no rookie could get to IMO.
     
  18. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    people keep failing to forget the purpose of 30 of 30, it's to tell a compelling story, it's not about what their favorite players were or favorite teams.

    as I mentioned before last month, you guys need to check out the tupac/mike tyson story when it comes out too.
     
  19. WhoMikeJames

    WhoMikeJames Contributing Member

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    This is pretty good so far. Heart of a Yogi, body of a warrior.

    It's unbelievable how insanely wrong the media and ESPN has portrayed him over the years.
     
    #19 WhoMikeJames, Apr 27, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  20. jasonemilio

    jasonemilio Member

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    I certainly don't condone smoking any type of illegal drugs in any way (yeah , kinda odd thing to say for a college kid) but I kinda sympathize with his reasoning for smoking the opie dopie in his context; I just think he over-did it and made his anxiety even worse , atleast in its outward effects, in that he alientated himself further (perhaps that's what he wanted though?) and apparently hurt a lot of (very loyal and faithful) friends and family along the way.
     

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