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Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Ricky Williams values his mistakes

By Tim Graham

One of the tenets of conventional parenting is teaching your children not to commit the same mistakes you made.

Ricky Williams is an unconventional parent.

Williams
Williams
Williams was a guest Monday morning on "The Joe Rose Show" on Miami all-sports radio station WQAM and addressed a variety of topics. Williams plugged a local screening for "Run Ricky Run: Hard to Tackle, Harder to put a Finger On," the latest in ESPN's "30 for 30" documentary film series.

Williams spoke about the recent trades that brought Brandon Marshall to Miami from the Denver Broncos and sent Ted Ginn from Miami to the San Francisco 49ers, talked about his relationship with Bill Parcells, said that he might play beyond 2010 even though he previously announced it would be his last season and outlined his future plans to attend medical school.

Rose also probed Williams about the film and the intimate moments it captures from turbulent times. Williams said if he had his druthers, the documentary would have been killed, but he didn't want to pull the plug because filmmaker Sean Pamphilon worked so hard on it.

In rehashing Williams' crazy journey, Rose asked if Williams straightened himself up to be a better example for his kids.

"The way I look at things is probably different than most people," Williams said, "and one of the things I want to teach my kids is not to be afraid to make mistakes and not to judge yourself or be ashamed when you make mistakes but to embrace mistakes as opportunities and a way to learn.

"If you go through life and you always make the -- quote, unquote -- right decisions you're going to have a boring life, and you're not going to learn anything. I'm just trying to teach them not to be afraid to make mistakes, to go and live and know that I'm always going to be here to help them learn from them and support them."

Williams acknowledged some of the film's footage, shot over nearly eight years, is unpleasant to watch. He is shown smoking marijuana while watching Dolphins game film, appears disheveled, makes disconnected comments about loved ones and generally looks like a lost soul.

But he explained he's able to handle the material because it's almost as though he's watching another person. Maturity and time have provided distance.

"My story shows my personal life was a wreck," Williams told Rose. "I was having success on the football field, but there was no balance, and I couldn't appreciate it.

"If by me going away and doing me ... I come back and I'm married. I have an incredible marriage and wonderful, beautiful children and I have a great football career and a medical career in front of me. It shows the benefit of going out and being you and having the courage to find yourself."

For those in South Florida, Williams is hosting an event at the Colony Theater in Miami Beach to coincide with the film's debut at 8 p.m. Monday. The event costs $50 for general admission and $100 for a VIP package with proceeds going to the Ricky Williams Foundation for at-risk youth. Williams will hold a Q&A session afterward.