Former Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder claims that his ex-teammate, superstar running back Ricky Williams, used to smoke marijuana the night before games.
UPDATE: Saturday, Sept. 7, at 12:22 a.m. ET
Miami Herald reporter Adam H. Beasley has the latest:
Speaking on his radio show Wednesday on WQAM-560, Crowder said, according to Pro Football Talk: “Remember that Buffalo game, the 200-yard game? Smoked the night before. Talk to Ricky. He was doing it, that’s what he did. Ricky has social anxiety, and he smoked weed. Ricky’s marijuana didn’t affect the team until he got caught smoking. … Him smoking weed, sitting at his house smoking weed, didn’t affect anybody but Ricky. He got high, and then he sobered up and then he went to practice the next day.”
But on Thursday afternoon, Crowder posted on his Twitter account @OfficialCrowder: “@ProFootballTalk is trollin my radio show. Its funny. I was a SR in HS when Rick ran for 200. How would i know what he did b4 the game?”
---End of update---
A Thursday report from Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk documented what Crowder had to say on Miami's WQAM radio station on Wednesday:
Remember that Buffalo game, the 200-yard game? Smoked the night before. Talk to Ricky. He was doing it, that’s what he did. Ricky has social anxiety and he smoked weed. Ricky’s marijuana didn’t affect the team until he got caught smoking. . . . Him smoking weed, sitting at his house smoking weed, didn’t affect anybody but Ricky. He got high and then he sobered up and then he went to practice the next day.
Williams did have a long history of using marijuana, and before his brief retirement in 2004, he had tested positive for the drug three times.
The game Crowder is referencing at the beginning of his quote is presumably from December 2002, when Williams scampered for a Dolphins franchise record of 228 yards to go with two touchdowns in a 38-21 loss.
Florio suggests that the prominence of marijuana in the NFL is greater than people realize. He explains that players not in the substance-abuse program only get tested for it once a year.
The window for testing opens on April 20, and once a player has been tested, he could smoke marijuana until a month before the next testing period began.
Crowder retired from the NFL in 2011 very suddenly at the age of 27, much like Williams did when he initially walked away from the game.
It doesn't seem that Crowder's story is totally unfeasible considering Williams' past marijuana use, which was thought to be at least partially caused by his social anxiety disorder.
Marijuana is generally demonized in society, and thus Williams received a lot of criticism for not fully capitalizing on his potential after setting what was the NCAA career rushing record at Texas at the time.
Even in spite of the several lost seasons in his career, Williams still finished with just over 10,000 rushing yards and 66 touchdowns on the ground. He captured the 2003 Pro Bowl MVP award weeks after winning the 2002 league rushing title.