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MH: Bad trip sealed his fate


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Bad trip sealed his fate

A little more than a year ago, guard Richard Williams of Gardner-Webb College in North Carolina told NFL teams he wasn't interested in playing pro football.

As it turns out, Williams' big reason is based on his experience during a visit with the Dolphins, his first and only stop. Williams took part in a recent interview with ESPN and wrote an article for an Internet site.

Based on some of Williams' reasons for passing on the NFL, the rest of the league might owe the Dolphins a bit of thanks for helping convince him that pro football was not for him.

' `This could be kinda cool,' I thought to myself, driving to the airport,'' Williams wrote. ``Half the guys in America would kill to be in my shoes. But my excitement evaporated as soon as the flight attendant pointed out my seat.

``I'm 6-3 and weigh 340 pounds, yet the Miami Dolphins flew me on coach! I squeezed into the middle seat between an old man and a big woman. By the time I arrived, my stomach was growling. But nobody offered lunch. I bought crackers from a vending machine.

``All day, I sat in my undershorts while doctors poked and probed me, and scheduled me for X-rays. When I produced a urine sample, they made some guy stand and watch to be sure I wasn't manipulating them.

'At dinner that night, my steak tasted good. But I didn't like the Dolphins' ****y attitude. All they talked about was their team and how great they were. I just sat there, nodding my head. The Dolphins noticed because afterward, they told [agent] Brian [Parker] that I was 'too quiet.' As soon as I got home, we talked about it.

' `It's like Sin City down there,' I said. 'Anything goes. I don't fit in.' . . . I still didn't get it. That night, I lay awake with my head spinning. You hear about professional athletes snorting cocaine, beating up their wives and getting convicted of DWI, and these guys are complaining about me! As long as my football skills measured up, why should I have to change my personality?''

After hearing about the comments, Dolphins vice president of football operations Rick Spielman said, ``We just do what everybody else does.''


Tampa Bay defensive tackle Warren Sapp is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Earlier this offseason, he said it would be hard for him to play outside Florida if he leaves the Buccaneers.

So what about the Dolphins, even though their salary-cap problems make that unlikely.

''No, I don't want to play on a team that can't win in December,'' Sapp said.


Sapp posed for a cover shot for The Herald's NFL special section, which comes out Wednesday. The picture made news because Sapp posed with a 750-pound lion, a situation that proved a little unnerving for Sapp.

'I thought you were trying to help the Dolphins' chances,'' Sapp said to a Herald reporter.

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With all the hard work, dedication, pain, and sacrifice these guys have to make to play in the NFL, I think you have to be more determined than thinking it would be cool to play in the NFL. No matter what the talent level, without the total commitment, few guys will make it - see Ryan Leaf.

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Lets see... Richard Williams is 6-3, 340 lbs.

He was upset because he had to fly coach and was cramped;

He was upset because he had to go hungry a few hours;

He was upset because he had to take a physical before the

Dolphins were willing to pay him $225,000 minimum, instead

of pumping gas;

The Dolphins took him to a free dinner but he was upset because

they were an organization proud of their success;

This guy is a powder-puff. I wonder if he would be upset if he had to serve in the Marines Corp or Army like I did, and many other guys have. :laugh:


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