Ricky Williams is being, shall we say, shy with the South Florida media of late for reasons I don't understand because they haven't been explained to me.
But Williams on Wednesday did spend some time on a conference call with the Toronto and Buffalo media because he apparently likes them. [They're probably smarter than the South Florida guys because, among other things, they spell center as centre.]
And during his interview with the smarter reporters from the great white north, Williams said some interesting things, some controversial things, and some stupid things.
Let's begin with the stupid thing. Williams was asked if the NFL's first regular-season game in Canada could eventually signal problems for the Canadian Football League. Williams picked that moment to say CFL players are different but just as good as NFL players.
"I think people’s first reaction is to think that the CFL is an inferior league and I wouldn’t subscribe to that," Williams said. "I think playing up there is different, a different game and I don’t think the NFL players are necessarily better than that of the CFL, they're just different. They're quicker, they're smaller, they don’t spend as much time at work. There, we had four-and-a-half-hour work days and here we’re eight sometimes nine hours. Coaches are sometimes here even longer."
NFL players not better? Oh boy.
Williams was asked about his 2006 CFL experience and what he thinks the CFL means to Canadians and in answering Williams said, in part, that CFL fans are better than Miami fans -- like you.
"I mean I don’t know, I’m an American so I’m not sure how important it is to Canada, but I know that each town we went to, including the hometown fans, when you went to a game, the people there, they're true fans," Williams said. "Sometimes, especially in Miami, you get people who only come when you’re winning and they're not necessarily big football fans. But going to places especially like Hamilton and Regina, Calgary. Just really, really huge football fans and it was just a lot of fun being in that environment week in and week out."
Yeah, Toronto CFL fans are great. In a greater metropolitan area that is home to 5.5 million people, the Argos' attendance averaged exactly 30,000 last season up from the 2003 all-time low of 14,998. The Dolphins', meanwhile, have a season ticket base of about 50,000 this year -- one year after a 1-15 season, and in the seventh season of a playoff drought.
But hey, let's not let facts get in the way of Ricky's point.
Finally, Williams seemed to make no bones of the fact he likes Canadians more than Americans because they are more accepting, according to Williams, and so that's what he tells teammates when they ask about life in Canada.
"Even before this week guys are curious about what it’s like and of course I only have positive things to say because I really did have a good time," Williams said. "In general I just like Canadians. They all seemed very nice and honest. And one thing that I talk to people about as far as Canadians versus Americans is, I think in America, I think people sometimes are frowned at when you try to be an individual and from my experience, that’s something that’s appreciated in Canada and obviously I don’t really fit in everywhere I go. I really enjoyed it up there for that reason."