Ricky Williams has this NFL thing all figured out. Rather than allow himself to be worked to the point of breaking down, he has chosen to attack his career at a more leisurely pace. One year he plays, the next he “retires”. One year he plays, the next year he gets suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy and misses the entire season. (If you’re keeping track, that’s twelve NFL games in three seasons – one quarter of the actual schedule.)

Now, in keeping with the cycle, Williams is making plans to return to the Miami Dolphins in 2007 as a backup running back. He has taken the initial steps with the league to be reinstated and is, according to his agent, Leigh Steinberg, ready to contribute:

“Ricky is in the best shape of his life…He’s passed all of his drug tests and he’s at a place where he’s ready to come back to the Dolphins.”

I’m gonna climb out on a limb and wish Ricky the best of luck this time around. We’re nearly the same age – he’s 30, I’m 27 – and I’d like to think that we have the same sort of nomadic, “what am I going to do with my life?” spirit. The only differences are that he has quite a bit more money at stake than I do and I’ve never turned to demon weed while trying to figure things out.

Which brings me to the real reason I decided to post on this topic. Can anyone guess the name of the California town that Ricky and his fiancée currently call home?

Grass Valley. You can’t make this stuff up.

Ricky Williams starting NFL reinstatement process (ESPN.com)

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