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Ricky's Reefer Madness


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The comedy of Ricky Williams' retirement eludes Dolphins fans, but his explanations for leaving the NFL are undeniably funny. He liked smoking reefer while following Lenny Kravitz on tour and wanted to keep doing it without the hassles of answering to specimen collectors from the league office.
The candor, rarer than a streaker at Wimbledon, was worth a laugh all by itself.

As he walked away from pro football, Williams dropped the name of a cleansing agent he drank by the half-gallon before NFL drug tests. Given that Williams was facing suspension for his third positive marijuana test, this novel product endorsement fell a little short of Michael Jordan's "It's the shoes.'' Williams did rally, explaining that he had stopped taking precautions.

"I didn't quit football because I failed a drug test,'' Williams told the Miami Herald. "I failed a drug test because I was ready to quit football.''

You have to admit that beats the stuffing out of "I didn't inhale.''

The clarification came as a substantial relief to the cleansing agent's manufacturers, who peddle their stuff to everyday workers facing an employer's drug test. If their check isn't already in the mail, it should be.

The NFL strongly denied that the product worked, countering a growing suspicion that the drug-testing system just might be a farce.

Of course, it is a joke, a long one. Williams' tale is only one of many punch lines.

The real comedy, though, doesn't lie in Williams' chemical end-around the tests. It's that marijuana is prohibited in the sports world at all. In Olympic competition, it shares space on the banned list with steroids.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Author: Gwen Knapp
Published: Tuesday, August 3, 2004 - Page D - 1
Copyright: 2004 San Francisco Chronicle
Contact: letters@sfchronicle.com
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