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Monday, July 26, 2004

Sports: More Ricky Fallout 

The Baseball Crank, back from vacation, says that Ricky Williams' retirement makes him "feel old."

It makes me feel, well, confused.

Matt and I partied in the vicinity of RW several times in college. I hesitate to say that we partied with him, because it would be a blatant falsehood. But we were friends with a guy named Richard Land, who was a year behind us (Matt and I started at UT in 1995, the same year as Ricky), and Richard played football.

There's a completely separate blog entry that I'll someday hash out about our friendship with Richard, but for the purposes of this post, it's enough to say that we hung out with him, and that when we did, it was often the same spot as other football players (e.g., Ricky Williams). The most popular football hangout in those days was the now-defunct Buffalo Club, just off of Sixth Street.

My first experience with inebriation actually came there, after the New Mexico State game in 1996. Their infamous Long Island Iced Teas hit me like a Ricky Williams stiff-arm, and as I sat on the side, watching the room spin, I looked over to see Ricky a few feet away, doing a little spinning of his own. I guess that was before his Personal Anxiety Disorder manifested itself.

Anyway, that marked the first of several times that we saw him out downtown, or wherever. Who knew then that he'd eventually win the Heisman, or become an NFL All-Pro? I certainly never anticipated that he'd vault to the forefront of elite NFL backs, only to walk away from it all at the ripe old age of 27.

Twenty-seven. I'm the same age as a retired NFL superstar. I don't even think that I've fully started my career, and his is over. It makes me feel old. It also makes me feel like I did something wrong somewhere along the way.

Damn. Twenty-seven. See ya on the golf course in another 30 years, Ricky.


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