Kalani Simpson Sidelines

Kalani Simpson

Ricky is so crazy
that he’s sane

PEAKING of flakes ...

Ricky Williams is my new, improved hero.


As he told The Miami Herald, "I'm going in search of truth."

Yes. Truth. The Miami Dolphins Pro Bowl running back is quitting, retiring, walking away, on the plane to an exotic location to a lifetime of ... well, whatever it is that he does.

Growing his dreadlocks back, maybe.

Job? Who needs a job?

Retirement, baby.

At age 27, no less.

But Ricky is wise beyond his years. He knows there are more important things to think about than punching a time clock.

"Everything I'm doing in my life now," he said, "is about finding the truth."

I am so down with that!

In fact, I can't wait to tell my wife. "Honey, you keep earning those paychecks. Ricky and I will be out looking for the truth. We think it's in Jamaica."

Of course, Ricky has a few million dollars in the bank.

It is said that only the rich can afford to be eccentric.

The Herald wrote, Sunday, that "He wants to study, learn, search, travel, question, write, meditate, read, wander, find himself, climb mountains, take pictures of waterfalls and be Dad without being interrupted by another 8 a.m. meeting to dissect film."

The Star-Bulletin is writing today, right now, that "Ricky wants to go on vacation."

The cynics out there will say that Williams is quitting pro football so that he can smoke pakalolo. That's ridiculous.

It's not the only reason.

Besides, Ricky told The Herald that he can get around NFL drug tests any time he wants by drinking "a special liquid."

(I especially enjoy any conversation that includes someone with an admitted history of drug use talking about a magical "special liquid.")

When I heard that Ricky made his retirement announcement while he was here, in Hawaii, at the airport on the way to the rest of his life, I was disappointed. He should have taken me with him! I thought we were close.

I can still remember his smile when we talked before the 2003 Pro Bowl. He seemed so happy. He'd figured everything out. He was in love with football.

He was in love with life.

He said he understood his much-publicized problem with Social Anxiety Disorder now, that he had overcome it. He was over it. And it was great.

The look on his face said he'd already found truth.

Of course, part of that was that he'd recaptured the old feeling of being a kid playing the game he loved. And the NFL is no kid's game. Not even close.

And we've all had days on the job when we'd rather board a plane for Asia.

The football people may argue, but the average workingman knows Ricky Williams isn't crazy.

He's just rich.

He's my new hero!

The truth is out there, Ricky. Probably at the bottom of a pitcher of "special liquid."

Oh, the timing is terrible, irresponsible. But perfect, too.

Anyone who's been through a football training camp knows that walking away just days before one starts is the sanest thing this crazy sucker has ever done.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Kalani Simpson can be reached at


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