Boys begin to understand sports and girls at about the same time. When you’re younger you understand it in simpler terms. You like sports because they’re fun. You like girls because you can’t help but look at them and it makes you feel funny. But, you don’t really understand. Your feelings for them are simple, uncomplicated. Like saying U.S. entered World War II because of Pearl Harbor. Correct, but missing the larger point.
Then one day you start to get it. Girls and sports start to make a little more sense. “Ohhh. That’s it. That’s what it’s really all about.” The people and events involved in those moments always hold special places in your heart. Well, for me it Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe of “Friends” and Helen Hunt in “Twister” and Greg Maddux and Ricky Williams
Greg Maddux was a slow appreciation of the skill and craftmanship involved with sports. Teaching me that it wasn’t all home runs, alley-oops, touchdowns, and hockey fights. Greg Maddux was my first girlfriend.
Ricky Williams was the first girl who flashed me. My introduction to Ricky Williams was when he broke the single season collegiate record. It was one of those “did that really just happen?” sports moments. He had only 11 yards to go to break it. And of course he set in by busting off a Hulk like 60 yard touchdown run. It is etched in stone in my brain. I remember the white paint on his arm. I swear to god I remember the cut to Tony Dorsett. I remember seeing him take his helmet off seeing his dreads and thinking, “That guy looks really cool”. When I get dementia I fully except to ramble on about his run endlessly. It was exciting, and sexy, and perfect. And ultimately meaningless because I wasn’t a Longhorn fan. But, I knew that I had just seen something unique. Ricky Williams has always been special to me because of that.
Ricky Williams is a unique dude. He gave interviews after games still wearing his football helmet. He was suspended multiple time of marijuana use. He retired in 2004 went to Australia or Canada and lived in the wilderness. He said he didn’t care for the game anymore. People accused him of being addicted to pot and lazy. Ricky is just his own dude. (He would want me to put dude”instead of man I have a feeling.)
Turned out many of Ricky’s eccentrics could be attributed to him having social anxiety disorder and a couple other difficulties. Social Anxiety Disorder is easily treatable once its diagnosed. Medication and therapy have been found to be extremely helpful. Ricky has openly discussed how much easier his life has been since he has received treatment. Social anxiety disorder is an intense, unreasonable anxiety in social situations. Sometimes leading to avoidance of certain situations and places that you actually wish to do. They can lead to difficulties functioning in a variety of social contexts and panic attacks.