Let Me Tell You A Story ?
Now don’t get me wrong while I admire much of the responsible journalism that ESPN at time does. It does grate on me when they sugary coat the subject matter and try to make them into something they are clearly not. In many ways it’s like trying to reinvent the wheel . It can’t really be done at all !
Slide show for your perusal
Today the ESPN documentary series 30 for 30 titled Run Ricky Run dealt with NFL running back Ricky Williams . Now while there are some things that one can admire about the player as a professional , when his head is in the game. But as this documentary was meant to delve into the player’s psyche , well being and the events that led to his departure from the game for repeated violations of the “NFL’s substance abuse policy”. However while that all may well appear rosy on the outside , on the inside of this whole scenario is far from what it appears to be. The documentary in part was part was commissioned after an original airing of an episode of the CBS news magazine program “60 Minutes” . This particular news program is the longest running none dramatic series on television. Having been on the air for over four decades and creator Don Hewitt’s jewel in the crown for the noted television station. The makers of the ESPN commissioned piece are Sean Pamphilon and Royce Toni .
ESPN trailer for the documentary “Run Ricky Run” . The documentary is part of an independent commissioned series of documentaries by the cable sports outlet.
Responsible journalism we’re told, is meant to inform the public or viewer of the fact and then to let them form an opinion having been given the facts. What we were actually being given was a warm syrupy piece of mush by ESPN for the viewer to consume . Now while I know that there are a great many unresolved issues concerning the player. What Williams and the programmers failed to acknowledge was the fact that as a father, he’s been less than acceptable and as an acceptable role model. All that the program was intent on flushing out was the fact that the player had now become more spiritual and as in fact a practicing Buddhist. Recently, another prominent sport’s icon and an alleged practicing Buddhist admitted his numerous infidelities. Well like Tiger Woods , Rickey Williams is no saint ! Having fathered 7 children out of wedlock with 6 different women.
Pardon for saying this but if “Williams” wants to be viewed as a whole person and a good Buddhist. Would not the fact of being a proud parent and one who acknowledges and cares about his children be something that he would want to cherish and somehow share with the world ? It doesn’t take a man to father a child but it does take a man to step up to the plate and accept their familial and patriarchal duties ! . Ricky Williams hasn’t embodied either of those traits as of yet ! His failure to support his children financially of which he still owes thousands of dollars in child support to the mothers of his children. And we’re meant to empathize with this individual ? Unfortunately ESPN failed to bring this up and deem it relevant. And somehow Williams fails to acknowledge his family other than his mother. Kind of odd wouldn’t you think ? OK , so he was the victim of child abuse in his childhood but isn’t the cycle as such being repeated here by his neglect of his own children by his own actions ? Abuse doesn’t have to be merely physical but it can represented by emotional abuse through neglect.
Given the problems concerning the Miami Dolphins and the recent idiocy shown by that of their GM Jeff Ireland . Though this program won’t reflect badly on the organization but it does serve notice that the team itself will be undergoing some changes this upcoming season with regard to its personnel . Two years removed a divisional crown and a return to the playoffs. Tony Sparano’s team regressed in 2009 and it was a noticeable step backwards. Fellow residents within the AFC East division are the New York Jets under their rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez , last season returned to the playoffs under coach Rex Ryan’s hard nosed coaching. And that “bad ass attitude” is reflected in Ryan and that of his team .
Other AFC East divisional residents , such as the Buffalo Bills have taken a step and it’s hard to see what direction that team in particular will be progressing. Now the 1,000 gorilla in the room remains the New England Patriots and the coaching philosophy of Bill Belichick . And if the Patriots are to remain a force within the division then they’re going to have to “step up their game” and “their game plan”.
If anything, what we’re now seeing from within the AFC East, it is that the Patriots an organization are at a crossroads. They have had a great deal of success this decade but at the same time they’ve become spoiled and rather complacent . And much of that falls down to the coach Bill Belichick and his coaching staff ! The coach , famous for his off the cuff remarks and the “Spygate scandal” has been about bringing free agents while still looking for young talent within the college gene pool of stars shall we say ? The failings of Belichick to my mind over the last few years has been Belichick’s over indulgence and reliance on the free agents. Granted he hit the ’mother lode’ with Corey Dillon , Randy Moss and Wes Welker . But for others that hasn’t been the case. They’ve recently cut outside linebacker Adalius Thomas as they’ve deemed him no longer prerequisite to their needs. If anything the player attracted the wrath of the three time Superbowl winning coach because of his criticism of Belichick . Not something that I for one , feel a player ought to be doing in public ! Keep that s_it behind closed doors and away from the prying eye of others who are close to the subject in question
The upcoming season should tell us a great deal about the Patriots and whether or not they’ll remain a dominant force not only within the AFC but the NFL as a whole. If not , then we may well be seeing the opening chapter of the decline of the dynasty . And it could well be that while this is happening like the Emperor Nero , Belichick may well be playing a musical instrument while the flames engulf the New England Patriots . And speaking as an “avowed” Pats’ fan that’s not something that I for one would relish !
That’s the story I wanted to tell . What are your thoughts on the subject matter ? I look forward to reading your comments and responding in kind. Have a safe and enjoyable weekend and keep the family close at all times. They are if anything , what life is all about at the end of the day ! Love and appreciate them as much as they love you.
Thanks as always !
Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………………..
Click on the link provided to be directed to the ESPN site where you can view in part segments of the series as well as this particular documentary on Williams. Run Ricky Run ………..
And for the series’ schedule of the 30 for 30 series of documentaries click here .
Click on the link provided to view the upcoming NFL schedule for your respective team.
Bob Marley & The Wailers ………………..”Natural Mystic”