I am blatantly and apologetically stealing this idea from Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post. I saw it on his site yesterday, and it got me thinking. This would be a great thing to hear how The Phinsider faithful feel.
So, does Ricky Williams deserve a place in the Ring of Honor at Sun Life Stadium?
Does Ricky deserve a place alongside Joe Robbie, Larry Csonka, Bob Griese, Jim Langer, Paul Warfield, Nick Buoniconti, the 1972 Undefeated Team, Larry Little, Dwight Stephenson, Bob Kuechenberg, Don Shula, Nat Moore, Dan Marino, Mark Clayton, Mark Duper, Dick Anderson, Richmond Webb, Bob Baumhower, Doug Betters, Jake Scott, Bill Stanfill, and, soon to be, Jim Mandich?
Williams holds the top two positions for single season rushing attempts for the team. He also holds three of the top five rushing yardage in a season, including the team record of 1853 yards in his first season in Miami. Rushing touchdowns in a season? Also Ricky's from the 2002 campaign, when he found pay dirt 16 times. That 2002 season also gave Ricky the yards per game in a single season record, with 115.8.
Oh, but Ricky isn't done with the accolades. Williams holds the Dolphins' second best career rushing yardage mark, with 6,436 yards, just 301 shy of Csonka's record. He also trails just Csonka with 48 rushing touchdowns, 5 back. Ricky leads all Dolphins in career yards per game, with 69.2. He is also the team's all time rushing attempts leader with 1509, three ahead of Csonka.
As for receiving, Ricky is 31st on the Dolphins' all time receiving yards list, with 1430 yards. He also ranks 17 for the team's total receptions in a career category.
But there's the other side of Williams as well.
In 2004, Ricky quit football, just days before the start of training camp. Looking back now, many fans understand the troubles that were haunting Williams. Dealing with social anxiety disorder, for which he found marijuana to be the best medicine, and a coach in Dave Wannstedt that used and abused Ricky's running abilities, Williams had to get away. But, at the time, he was one of, if not the, most hated men in Miami.
Ricky came back to the team for the 2005 season, sitting out four games due to a positive drug test, only to fail his fourth drug test and miss all of the 2006 campaign. Rumored to be either an herb related to his studies of holitic medicine, and not marijuana, or possible a missed drug test due to his travels in India, Williams served the suspension, while staying in shape by playing in the Canadian Football League.
Following his Toronto Argonauts stint, Ricky once again returned to the Dolphins, and to the fans that were still hurting from two years without the running back. Rick got back onto the field midway through the 2007 season, only to tear his right pectoral muscle and be placed on injured reserve.
In 2009, Williams ran for 1,121 yards, setting a new NFL mark for longest span between 1,000 yard rushing seasons (6 years).
At age 33, Williams ended his Dolphins career with a 673 yard season.
The Miami Dolphins career of Ricky Williams has been the very definition of a roller coaster. There have been great peaks, and deep valleys. But, in the end, the Dolphins were a better team when Ricky was on the field. Now, should the team immortalize him on the stadium?