There's a lot of marijuana related news in the NFL today, and sadly, it all just seems rather mundane. What has become of us that we think, "Oh, he just smoked some marijuana"? Without further ado, we dive right in...
The Rams have said they are interested in acquiring Dolphins' running back Ricky Williams, should he be granted his reinstatement. Williams was suspended before last season for failing his 4,872,497,298,472nd drug test, after retiring to go smoke pot with the Aborigines in Australia (if you're gonna do it, do it right). He filed for reinstatement recently, and will most assuredly get it, because he demonstrated that his ship has been righted; he played an entire season in Canada last year. Now his decision to come out of retirement was fueled entirely by his love of the game of football (read as the money acquired by playing the game of football), so the Rams apparently believe his character is no longer in question. I beg to differ... let's review:
The New Orleans Saints drafted Ricky with the first overall pick out of Texas in (I think) 1999. Williams represented all of the Saints draft picks that year, as he was such a can't miss draft pick that the Saints traded ALL OF THEIR PICKS for the chance to take him number 1. Unfortunately for New Orleans, he missed. The highlight of his Saints career was dressing up in a wedding dress for a magazine cover with Mike Ditka, and he ultimately replaced by Deuce McAllister, who is, in turn, currently being replaced by one Reggie Bush. He was soon shipped to the Dolphins, who have such great luck with trades recently (see Culpepper, Daunte). In Miami, his career appeared resurrected, as he totaled respectable rushing numbers for two years. Then, he felt the call, not of God, but of grass. He retired weeks before Miami began training camp, hanging the Dolphins out to dry. He was tracked down somewhere in the middle of the outback (eating a different kind of "Bloomin' Onion") and told he owed the Dolphins somewhere in the ballpark of $80,000,000 (big ballpark). Suddenly, the drive to play football came rushing back to him.
Ricky apparently had a good accountant, because he realized that how much weed he could buy with that $80 mill, and soon returned to Miami, only to pee in a cup and end up in Canada (I wonder how many stories actually end like that). After serving his sentence playing Canada's unique brand of outdoor Arena football, Ricky is up for reinstatement, and the Rams just may be stupid enough to bite.
The Rams, frankly, have no business with Ricky Williams, other than their coaching connection. The Rams' head coach coached Ricky in Miami, when he didn't suck too bad (maybe he was on something). However, the bad here clearly outweighs the good. Ricky will be a distraction from day one. He will undoubtedly fail another drug test, and cause more distractions. He will be a horrible influence on young Ram RB Stephen Jackson, and could potentially derail an up and coming career. If the Rams are smart (we looking into it), they will pass on the grass and let Ricky sink Miami even further.
It'd be nice if that was the only pot related story out of the NFL today, but the next one just gets weirder. Three projected top ten draft picks admitted during their interviews with teams during the Combine that they have smoked marijuana in the past. Apparently, they were not briefed on things you should and should not tell prospective employers. Calvin Johnson, Gaines Adams, and Amobi Okoye all admitted during their pre-draft interviews that had tried pot in the past. Whats more absurd, and a little bit hypocritical, is that the draftniks are saying that these revelations have not affected the draft status of any of the three of them. In a league that all the sudden has put character at the forefront of everything it does (Cincinnati Bengals, Pacman Jones), the teams are willing to let this admitted felony go. It doesn't matter how much it was, or what the circumstances were, these men committed a crime when they smoked the marijuana. Call me old fashioned, but I think that them admitting it should count as them failing their first drug test. It should carry the same penalty that is levied on any player that is found to be doing the same.
Instead, the media is lauding (means praising) these men for admitting it. Now, I for one do not care what people have done in the past... unless they admit to a felony during what was essentially a job interview. This obviously shows a grandiose lack of judgement on their part, and could possibly reflect the type of character they choose to be. Remember, Ricky Williams was a can't miss draft prospect. If you don't believe me, scroll up, and read it again. Marijuana ruined his career, and now he has to fight for his right to play in the League. Some people think its just a harmless drug, but for the three men that admitted to using it (and all the ones that didn't, as well), it could spell the beginning of the end. Just ask Ricky... the NFL only gives you four second chances.