I’ve gotten hooked on 105.7 The Fan. Since football season began, I’ve been listening to Steve Davis more than Steve Inskeep and marveling at Ravens fans’ capacity for processing and retaining huge amounts of minutiae related to every aspect of the game. In fact, I’ll bet many listeners can name more players on the Ravens practice squad than City Council members.
But overall, I’ve been most impressed with Ricky Williams. When I heard Williams was coming to Baltimore, I knew he brought a lot of baggage with him—he’s the guy who abruptly retired in 2004, returned a year later, and went to the CFL in 2006 after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy for a fourth time. When I heard he was co-hosting a Wednesday night radio show, I figured it would be another “we are warriors who love our fans and do what Harbs says” gabfest, but maybe with a little more edge to it.
So I tuned into the show, which aired Wednesday nights at 6 pm from the Greene Turtle. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Williams was actually a soft-spoken, candid, and articulate guy. So I tuned in again and again and have heard him offer both clear-headed analysis and Zen-like wisdom over the course of the season. Besides the ins and outs of beating the Steelers, Williams has talked about transcendence, doing yoga, traveling the world, experiencing different cultures, and watching Monday Night Football while drinking tea in Thailand (that must have been during one of those retirements or suspensions). “My number one priority is the quality of my life,” I’ve heard him say more than once. “I get up every morning happy to go to work.”
The guy also has a sense of humor. He’s mentioned that, at 34, he’s the oldest running back in the league, and young guys tell him all the time that they’ve been watching him play since they were in junior high or even elementary school.
And when a caller asked him about the NFL’s drug policy, he quipped, “I certainly know a lot about that” and then proceeded to outline the testing procedure, which is much stricter and more invasive than I ever imagined.
He uses words like “neat.”
Maybe next year, The Ricky Williams Show should be broadcast from Teavolve.