Oh Canada, Ricky homesick for “true fans?[url=http://www.palmbeachpost.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/palmbeach/miamidolphins/entries/2008/12/03/oh_canada_ricky_homesick_for_t.html]http://www.palmbeachpost.com/blogs/cont ... for_t.html[/url]
By Edgar Thompson, Inside the Dolphins
Wednesday, December 3, 2008, 03:46 PM
[i]The Dolphins visit to Toronto to face the Bills on Sunday has special meaning for Ricky Williams.
Williams misses his days in Canada, living in downtown Toronto within walking distance of his favorite haunts - and playing in front of fans who really seem to care.
“I know that each town that we went to, including the hometown fans, when you go to a game the people there are true fans,? Williams said today, speaking during a conference call with media from Buffalo and Toronto. “Sometimes, especially in Miami, you get people coming only when you’re winning.
“Going to places like Hamilton or Regina, Calgary, there are really, really huge football fans there. So it was a lot of fun being in that type of environment week in and week out.?
Williams, who signed a one-year deal with Toronto in 2006 after he receiving a season-long suspension from the NFL for a fourth violation of the NFL’s substance abuse program, said he might even return to the CFL some day.
The 31-year-old running back said he recently saw Argonauts owner David Cynamon, who has a home in Miami. The two joked about Williams returning to Canada in some capacity one day.
“If I had the opportunity and it worked well for my family and myself I would definitely jump at the opportunity,? Williams said. “David and I, we joked about it when he was down here a couple of weeks ago.
Asked what he’d be doing, Williams said, “Playing, coaching, wherever I am in my career and whatever I feel like doing.?
Williams said he even had a dream about former Argos president Keith Pelley.
“So he’s definitely in my thoughts and any time I get a chance I’m in contact with him,? Williams said. “He was working in New Orleans and he was complaining about how hot it was in New Orleans. That was pretty much the whole dream.
“But it was pretty nice to see him.?
Despite his fond memories, Williams didn’t generate many memorable moments on the field for the Argos.
Williams started the season as Toronto’s featured back, but suffered a broken forearm and injured Achilles tendon and missed miss eight weeks early in the season.
Upon his return, Williams moved to fullback, with former NFL first-round pick John Avery lining up at tailback. Williams excelled as a blocker and finished the regular season with just 526 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 109 carries.
He ran for 97 yards on 15 carries in Toronto’s two playoff games, but his second-half fumble in the East Championship led to a key 52-yard TD catch by Thyron Anderson that helped the Montreal Alouettes to a 33-24 victory and a Grey Cup berth.
“It was a little frustrating at first and breaking my arm wasn’t great,? Williams said, “but when I came back we started to jell and it became even more fun.?
Even though there will be plenty of Bills’ fans on hand Sunday, Williams said he’s expecting to a warm reception from the locals.
“I assume that they’ll be happy because there’s some kind of connection,? he said. “The only team I played for in the CFL has been the Argonauts, so they have no reason to boo me.?[/i]