This is an article from the Oct. 26, 2009 issue
The Dolphinsrunning back—who has rushed for 316 yards in five games—was taken in the eighthround by the Phillies in the 1995 draft.
Dan Patrick: Whatteam are you pulling for in the NLCS?
Ricky Williams: I'mpulling for the Phillies.
DP: What kind ofbaseball player were you?
RW: I wasn't asgood as I wanted to be. I was a decent outfielder, I had a strong arm....
DP: Were you a BoJackson type?
RW: I didn't hit alot of home runs—I hit a lot of doubles and triples. I was very streaky. I'dhave a great month; then I'd have an 0-fer month.
DP: What's tougher,football or baseball?
RW: Baseball. It'snot trying to hit the baseball; it's the fact that you have to get yourselfready to play every single day. Six months, every day—that's tough.
DP: Why don't youget to throw the football in the Dolphins' offense? Ronnie Brown does.
RW: Because everytime they ask me to throw the ball, I say, "Hell no, I don't want to throwthe ball."
DP: Why? You had agreat arm in high school for baseball.
RW: Yeah, I had agood arm throwing a baseball, but I don't want to try to throw a football.
DP: Did you thinkyou'd be playing football at the age of 32?
RW: I never thoughtabout it.
RW: I've beenplaying football my whole life. I've never thought about when it would end orhow it would end.
DP: But you look atguys who are around 30. That appears to be a magic number for running backs. Itseems they have a certain number of carries in their legs, and that's it.
RW: I don't thinkit's a physical thing. When you're young, you think your body will hold upforever. As you start to get older, you think, Ouch, this hurts. Do I reallywant to spend this much time thinking about my body being in pain? I don'tthink it's a physical thing as much as a mental thing.
DP: Are you stillexcited about football?
RW: It's excitingnow. We've won two games in a row, and we're doing a great job on offense. It'sstill a job, don't get me wrong. One thing I've learned in my old age is themore that you approach it as a job, it puts you in a position to have fun. Ifyou don't put in [the work], you're not going to have success, and it's notgoing to be fun.
DP: What do youstudy now?
RW: I study a lotof healing modalities.
RW: Massage therapyis one of them.
DP: What if[Dolphins coach] Tony Sparano asked you for a massage?
RW: [Laughs.] Hewouldn't do it, so I don't have to answer that question. Not even my teammateswould ask. In this profession, guys don't let other guys touch them that way.But if his wife asked me to give her a massage, then I would enjoy theopportunity to show him that I have other abilities.
DP: I would let yougive me a massage. I have a bad back.
RW: I probablywouldn't use traditional massage. But you'd feel better. The reason I went tomassage school was to get experience, because when I'm done playing, I want togo to medical school.
DP: So in 10 years,when I call you, what are you going to be doing?
RW: I'll be adoctor.
Don on Deck?
Dodgers hittinginstructor Don Mattingly seems the logical successor to L.A. manager Joe Torre.However, after the Yankees passed him over for Joe Girardi in 2007, DonnieBaseball told me that he's not taking anything for granted: "EverythingI've been doing over the last few years has been getting ready to be amanager—wherever that may be. I enjoy [L.A.]. The National League is reallysomething."
Mark Cuban told mehe would have been "shocked" if NFL owners had allowed a group thatincluded Rush Limbaugh to buy the Rams. Cuban, the outspoken Mavericks owner,went through similar media scrutiny when he tried to buy the Cubs. But Cubandoesn't think he failed because owners didn't want him in their club. "I'mpretty sure it was just the bid," Cuban said. "In hindsight, I'm glad[the bid wasn't accepted] because the way it was structured with debt wouldhave been a big problem right now given the economy."
Line of theweek
Pete Carroll'sone-season stint as the Jets' coach in 1994 was ugly, but the USC boss doesn'thold a grudge now that former Trojans QB Mark Sanchez is New York's starter.Said Carroll, "I'm watching every game like [Sanchez] is my little kid.Sure I want the Jets to win."
Now Hear This
Listen to thepodcasts at danpatrick.com/interviews
1. Notre Dame QBJimmy Clausen on returning to California.
2. Bob Costaspushes for wider replay in postseason baseball.
THE FINE PRINT:Oprah reunited Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. Next week, Oscar De La Hoyaand his fishnets.
Hear Dan announcethe week's Got It Done Award every Monday