Ricky Jumps Aboard


Posted May 29, 2006


One of the most improbable courtships in sports was consummated Sunday when suspended Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams signed with the Toronto Argonauts. For weeks, media buzz has grown around the possibility of the former Heisman Trophy winner joining the Argos, and now that Miami has consented to allow Williams to sign for one year with the Double Blue, it’s a done deal.

In front of a packed press conference, Argos president and CEO Keith Pelley announced the signing of Ricky Williams to a one-year deal, and thanked the entire Miami Dolphins organization for allowing Williams to join the CFL. 

 

He also expressed confidence in Williams as a player and as a person, “We all know Ricky Williams is special on the field but what I’ve learned in the last couple of days is that Ricky Williams is more special off the field. Working side by side with the legendary Mike ‘Pinball’ Clemons, I can categorically foresee how influential these two men can be to Toronto’s youth. Ricky has made mistakes, but he will be the first to tell you he has learned from those mistakes. You only have to spend ten minutes with him to understand. On behalf of the entire Toronto Argonauts organization, we welcome Ricky to our team.”

 

Argos head coach Michael Clemons echoed those sentiments welcoming Williams to the club with great enthusiasm, “When a signing of this magnitude becomes a topic of discussion, there is always both excitement and trepidation and it is imperative that we fully investigate both the pros and cons, not only for our organization but our League as a whole. I’ve personally given this considerable consideration and unequivocally understand my personal position. This, however, did not satisfy my concerns for our League and our fans. That is, until I met Ricky Williams. He is quite literally one of the kindest and most thoughtful persons I have ever spent time with. He is a kindred spirit, a man after my own heart, whose articulated desire is to serve others. Interestingly enough, I haven’t said anything about his physical talents because it is Ricky Williams the man that is most impressive. Ricky, welcome to the Double Blue! And to our fans, soon you will be a fan too.”

 

Freshly shaved and shorn, Williams looked rejuvenated during the press conference.  He spoke enthusiastically about how joining the Argos was a fresh start, “I’m happy to be here in Toronto having a chance to further my career on the football field. Even more importantly, I have a chance to serve the community, my teammates, to serve my owners, my president, to serve my coach, and to give back on a grand scale.”

 

Argos fans and club officials alike hope that some of Williams’ generosity will be in the form of yards gained from scrimmage,  After such a high-profile courtship, intense scrutiny of performance will certainly follow.  For Williams, however, that’s been par for the course since New Orleans coach Mike Ditka traded his entire team’s draft for the right to bring Ricky into the NFL.

 

Donning a distinctively new number 27, Ricky Williams will practice for the first time as a Toronto Argonaut on Monday as the team continues two-a-days.



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