Skip to content

Crowder: Ricky Williams smoked weed before games

images Getty Images

As the 2013 NFL regular season prepares to launch in one of the two states where it’s now legal to smoke marijuana, let’s reflect on one of the more prominent marijuana smokers who played pro football in recent years.

Former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder said Wednesday on WQAM radio in Miami that former Dolphins running back Ricky Williams routinely smoked marijuana before games.

“Remember that Buffalo game, the 200-yard game?” Crowder said.  “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.”

It’s far more common than people realize that players smoke marijuana.  Players not in the substance-abuse program have one marijuana test per year.  (Ironically, the window for testing opens on April 20.)  After being tested, a player can smoke all he wants until the next April 20.  (Actually, he should quit by March 20, given that it takes up to 30 days for metabolites to exit the system.)

Most teams care about players using marijuana only when, due to one or more failed tests, the choice becomes marijuana or football.  Until the player has a violation or two, that decision doesn’t have to be made.

So NFL players who have passed their annual substance-abuse test should smoke ‘em if they got ‘em, especially if they are in Colorado or Washington.

Permalink 63 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Home, Miami Dolphins, Rumor Mill
63 Responses to “Crowder: Ricky Williams smoked weed before games”
  1. doubleogator says: Sep 5, 2013 9:51 AM

    He probably could have smoked it an hour before the game and still performed well…

  2. raiderufan says: Sep 5, 2013 9:55 AM

    To be fair the night before isn’t exactly before games when it comes to weed. The effects of it had worn off and no hangover would be present…you could argue possible short term memory effects, maybe, but certainly nothing physical like you’d find from heavy drinking the night before the game.

    When it comes to weed I’d consider “before games” to be right after warm ups or something of that nature. Expecially for a guy that was as into it as he was at the time.

  3. trollhammer20 says: Sep 5, 2013 9:56 AM

    Probably helped him relax, which is pretty important when you are in a profession where your body takes a physical beating once a week.

    Robert Parrish smoked it his entire career, and gives it partial credit for his longevity in the NBA.

  4. coltzfan166 says: Sep 5, 2013 9:56 AM

    Damn I didn’t know they’re only tested once a year

  5. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Sep 5, 2013 9:56 AM

    I smoke before I do important tasks too. It helps me concentrate and block out outside distractions.
    If you’re not a smoker I wouldn’t expect you to understand this and as such please keep your uninformed comments about marijuana to yourself.

  6. bucrightoff says: Sep 5, 2013 9:57 AM

    Puff, Ricky, Puff

  7. arpy911 says: Sep 5, 2013 10:02 AM

    It’s a bit ironic that the testing period opens on 4-20. If you know what I mean.

  8. niquebchillin says: Sep 5, 2013 10:04 AM

    They acting like smoking trees worse than drinking … He just likes to relax

  9. onereasonableman says: Sep 5, 2013 10:04 AM

    I agree with Raderufan. There would be a big difference of smoking immediately before a game and the night before.

    I don’t understand how guys who smoke can keep their lung capacity up. I would think you’d start to develop a cough or something.

  10. pike573 says: Sep 5, 2013 10:07 AM

    So the window for testing marijuana starts on 4/20. Someone in the league office has a sense of humor.

  11. pike573 says: Sep 5, 2013 10:11 AM

    So the window for testing marijuana opens on 4/20

  12. rodge1 says: Sep 5, 2013 10:12 AM

    I’d smoke to if Wannstedt was my coach.

  13. thenew013 says: Sep 5, 2013 10:14 AM

    Legalize it.

  14. jonevans83 says: Sep 5, 2013 10:15 AM

    Crowder is still an idiot. Anyway, Ricky high or not could dominate. Weed solved his anxiety issues.

  15. marima07 says: Sep 5, 2013 10:18 AM

    Interesting. Didn’t know how infrequently the league tests for weed.

    That pretty much nullifies reports that the Patriots should have known Hernandez would light one up on the ride home after games.

  16. atkinsandgreenreignsupreme says: Sep 5, 2013 10:29 AM

    On that LOUD! LOL

  17. pkrlvr says: Sep 5, 2013 10:41 AM

    These comments give me so much hope for the future. It is ridiculous that you can go to jail for years for marijuana but you can buy a much more dangerous and mind altering substance (alcohol) in every gas station and CVS in the country. Imagine the career Williams may have had if weed didn’t have that awful stigma.

  18. whysomanylosers says: Sep 5, 2013 10:41 AM

    Crowder was pissed because Ricky would always bogart….

  19. hatesycophants says: Sep 5, 2013 10:52 AM

    The only issue here is that Crowder should keep his mouth shut about other player’s off-field habits.

  20. mmsolis1106 says: Sep 5, 2013 10:55 AM

    If smoking “weed” is the worst thing Ricky Williams ever did in his life,he’s apt to be alright…

  21. tarniman says: Sep 5, 2013 10:57 AM

    I don’t understand the whole “4/20″ thing can someone explain it to me. Potheads speak up

  22. brasho says: Sep 5, 2013 10:59 AM

    I wonder if the “smoke ‘em if you got ‘em” line by Florio is the same one he gives his son. I doubt it… typical hypocrite.

    And to say that “weed solved his anxiety problem” as one poster suggested, is completely erroneous. It is a treatment that temporarily masks the disorder. Like other drugs, it allowed him to escape from his permanent problems on a not permanent basis, as they were still there when he came down from his high.

  23. sandersmarcus10 says: Sep 5, 2013 11:03 AM

    And this is being brought up NOW Why? smh, NFL players save your money so you dont have to be a snitch on topics that you should have said something about when it was happening but instead bring it up 10-15 years later

  24. iamedreed says: Sep 5, 2013 11:04 AM

    its funny that Ricky was and still is being vilified for smoking a relatively harmless plant to treat his anxiety, but if he was taking Xanax like everyone else in America there would be zero issues

  25. granadafan says: Sep 5, 2013 11:05 AM

    Why don’t they do the testing on 4/21?

  26. jpelle82 says: Sep 5, 2013 11:08 AM

    i used to smoke before my hockey games in high school. i definitely got in less “altercations” and took less penalty minutes. i could catch pucks better on my tape, i tended to see the ice better, and i got hit less. more attention to detail i guess, was able to deal better in transition too, seemed like i had a better feel for the flow of the game, they would have to yell at me a lot to come off for line changes though.

  27. skinsfanwill says: Sep 5, 2013 11:11 AM

    Cigarettes are far worse than weed. But this is about making money off of it, not the actual harm it does to you.

  28. wasteindustries says: Sep 5, 2013 11:15 AM

    This is extremely commonplace in the league, my friend used to be on the Giants practice squad and we would routinely smoke with Steve smith and Reuben droughns throughout the season

  29. kindbass says: Sep 5, 2013 11:23 AM

    Honestly, if he had blazed on his way to the stadium, he probably still would have been straight by the time the game started.

  30. eatitfanboy says: Sep 5, 2013 11:28 AM

    Ricky smoked weed to deal with his social anxiety disorder. It’s unlikely he could have had an NFL career without it. It’s cheaper and less addictive that what the pharmaceutical push to treat anxiety, which is why they are fighting so hard to keep it illegal.

  31. barbeaux says: Sep 5, 2013 11:58 AM

    Too bad smoking anything destroys the lungs. Weed smokers always claim weed cures everything. If that’s true the why did Marley die of pinky toe cancer? It doesn’t cure things. It’s like anything else tho…for some people it’s ok. For others not. I know lots of people that would rather sit around and smoke than do stuff like work or tending to their homes. I’m not against it being legalized. I think it shouldn’t be touted as the miracle thing, and it should be made clear that it isn’t for everyone…just like alcohol, cigs, coca cola, etc.

  32. possumsauce says: Sep 5, 2013 12:03 PM

    I’m just overjoyed at these comments and upvotes. So impressed with PFT’s readership right now.

  33. tarniman says: Sep 5, 2013 1:01 PM

    Potheads like to claim all these medical reasons for smoking weed. YOU GUYS LIKE TO GET HIGH.

  34. tarniman says: Sep 5, 2013 1:02 PM

    Accept it and move on. Quit making excuses for the habit you like

  35. officialgame says: Sep 5, 2013 1:11 PM

    It can always been worse, Ricky could have been a brain surgeon.

  36. walkinginthewasteland says: Sep 5, 2013 1:25 PM

    4/20 is international “Have a toke” day.

  37. swaggyy says: Sep 5, 2013 1:35 PM

    There is 420 chemicals that make up marijuana.

  38. nyneal says: Sep 5, 2013 1:48 PM

    The flippant attitude many people have toward maijuana use angers me for a good reason, and it’s the thing everyone forgets when they joke about drug use.
    The same people who bring dope into our neighborhoods so people like Ricky Williams can smoke it are the same people who also bring other drugs such as crack cocaine and heroine into our neighborhoods. And they’re the ones trying to pedal it to kids.
    I will never think drug use is funny or its use should be brushed off as Channing Crowder apparently does.
    Millions of lives have been affected by alcohol and drug abuse, and it’s no laughing matter.
    If I had my way, alcohol would be banned at all sporting events, too. I have seen people at every sporting event I have been to who are so drunk they can hardly function, and it has gotten worse instead of better. These same people often cause disturbances inside and outside the stadiums, and climb into their vehicles and drive.
    If that’s funny, something is wrong.

  39. surfinbird1 says: Sep 5, 2013 1:49 PM

    As long as he’s not puffin’ on the bench between carries,no harm done.

  40. hempoilcures says: Sep 5, 2013 1:55 PM

    I played in the 70′s, not pro ball, but close enough…I used to puff a few minutes before we would go on the field….I set a record for interceptions and never had a bad game all year. My coaches would smell it on me in the dressing room and would just giggle. They knew how I would play and they got a kick out of it. Every practise I would smoke walking to the park. Blood shot eyes and ready to roll, put me in coach.

  41. hempoilcures says: Sep 5, 2013 1:57 PM

    Cannabis oil cures, endo cannabinoid system…it’s science.

  42. 66orioles says: Sep 5, 2013 1:59 PM

    Oh the irony of the 4/20 testing date.

    Could it be some stoner working for the NFL picked this date on purpose?

    420, 4:20, or 4/20 (pronounced four-twenty) is a code-term used primarily in North America that refers to the consumption of cannabis and by extension, as a way to identify oneself with cannabis subculture or simply cannabis itself. Observances based on the number 420 include smoking cannabis around the time 4:20 p.m. (with some sources also indicating 4:20 a.m.), on any given day, as well as smoking cannabis on the date April 20 (4/20 in American form).

    Origins

    A widely discussed story says that a group of teenagers in San Rafael, California,calling themselves the Waldos, because “their chosen hang-out spot was a wall outside the school”, used the term in connection with a fall 1971 plan to search for an abandoned cannabis crop that they had learned about. The Waldos designated the Louis Pasteur statue on the grounds of San Rafael High School as their meeting place, and 4:20 p.m. as their meeting time. The Waldos referred to this plan with the phrase “4:20 Louis”. Multiple failed attempts to find the crop eventually shortened their phrase to simply “4:20″, which ultimately evolved into a codeword that the teens used to mean pot-smoking in general. Mike Edison says that Steve Hager of High Times was responsible for taking the story about the Waldos to “mind-boggling, cult like extremes” and “suppressing” all other stories about the origin of the term.

    Hager wrote “Stoner Smart or Stoner Stupid?” in which he called for 4:20 p.m. to be the socially accepted hour of the day to consume cannabis. He attributes the early spread of the phrase to Grateful Dead followers, who were also linked to the city of San Rafael.
    April 20 observances
    File:420 event in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, April 20th 2013.webmhd.webm
    420 event in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, April 20th 2013
    Students and others gather for a “420 Day” event at a meadow near the University of California, Santa Cruz, campus on April 20, 2007.

    April 20 has become a counterculture holiday in North America, where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis. Some events have a political nature to them, advocating for the legalization of cannabis. North American observances have been held in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park near the Haight-Ashbury district, the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus, Ottawa, Ontario, at Parliament Hill and Major’s Hill Park, Montréal, Québec at Mount Royal monument, Edmonton, Alberta at the Alberta Legislature Building, as well as Vancouver, British Columbia at the Vancouver Art Gallery. The growing size of the unofficial event at UC Santa Cruz caused the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs to send an e-mail to parents in 2009 stating: “The growth in scale of this activity has become a concern for both the university and surrounding community.”

  43. trevor123698 says: Sep 5, 2013 2:01 PM

    “you could argue possible short term memory effects”

    no you can’t. Memory problems are caused by cholesterol, fat, vitamin B-12 and numerous other NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES. If you are at the point of the brain experiencing memory loss your body isn’t going to be healthy enough to stay on the field because Dead Athletes Don’t Lie

  44. trevor123698 says: Sep 5, 2013 2:02 PM

    NyNeal is a scumbag

  45. tarniman says: Sep 5, 2013 2:09 PM

    Potheads….admit you like cause you like it and stop saying I only do it for medical reasons….I have habits too but it doesn’t evolve drugs or alcohol. I have tried both in the past.

  46. hatesycophants says: Sep 5, 2013 2:32 PM

    You have to wonder about guys like tarniman and nyneal. Their brains are obviously filled with misinformation and ridiculous stereotypes. If you don’t smoke marijuana or use alcohol, that’s your business. But to publicly (anonymously) perpetuate myths and flat out lies is just foolish.

    Keep watching those Dragnet reruns, ya goofs.

  47. steelerben says: Sep 5, 2013 3:35 PM

    I have known more than one person that has distributed marijuana. I have never known them to sell cocaine, heroin, PCP, or any hard drugs, with the possible exception of one guy that also enjoyed mushrooms. This does not mean that there are not dealers out there that distribute more than one kind of drug, but it certainly disproves the theory that the people who bring hard drugs into the community are one and the same as the ones bringing in pot.

    If the major concern with marijuana use and distribution is still the idea that harder drugs are brought in with it, then wouldn’t you agree that setting a system that regulates and taxes the growth and distribution of it and sets an age range is a great way to limit that?

  48. samoanjungle says: Sep 5, 2013 3:52 PM

    To relieve social anxiety? It has the opposite effect on me.
    “Why are you looking at me? Am I driving too fast? Was that a cop car?”

  49. nickster31 says: Sep 5, 2013 4:21 PM

    tarniman says:
    Sep 5, 2013 2:09 PM
    Potheads….admit you like cause you like it and stop saying I only do it for medical reasons….I have habits too but it doesn’t evolve drugs or alcohol. I have tried both in the past.

    I smoke weed because I enjoy it. That being said, because I smoke weed, I have less problems with the ulcers in my stomach and fewer migraines from the TMJ I have in my jaw.

    Just because I enjoy it, does not make it a bad thing.

    ***************************************

    nyneal says:
    Sep 5, 2013 1:48 PM
    The flippant attitude many people have toward maijuana use angers me for a good reason, and it’s the thing everyone forgets when they joke about drug use.
    The same people who bring dope into our neighborhoods so people like Ricky Williams can smoke it are the same people who also bring other drugs such as crack cocaine and heroine into our neighborhoods. And they’re the ones trying to pedal it to kids.

    For starters, people who sell weed, DO NOT sell other drugs! Why? Simple.

    Being caught with less than 20 grams of weed is a misdemeanor. Slap on the wrist. Don’t do it again. If you have REAL good bud, you can sell it for $20-$30 per gram, at the most. Coke, Heroine, Meth and those other drugs are felony for possession. That means, if you are caught with even 1 gram, you go to jail.
    Do you understand this? People that are selling weed, are not carrying around other drugs with them, because it increases their charges if they get caught. People that sell those other drugs are not carrying around weed, because they don’t make enough money per gram to be worth the risk.

    I will never think drug use is funny or its use should be brushed off as Channing Crowder apparently does.

    42% of American adults have admitted to using marijuana. That means, out of every 10 people you know, 4 of them smoke. Can you tell who they are?

    Millions of lives have been affected by alcohol and drug abuse, and it’s no laughing matter.
    If I had my way, alcohol would be banned at all sporting events, too. I have seen people at every sporting event I have been to who are so drunk they can hardly function, and it has gotten worse instead of better. These same people often cause disturbances inside and outside the stadiums, and climb into their vehicles and drive.

    Do you realize that if those same people that you are complaining about being drunk (and I actually agree to an extent with this part of your comment) were smoking weed, that they would be acting pretty much the exact opposite way, right?

    My point to you is really simple. I am a productive member of my community. I have been a youth sports coach for the better part of the last 20 years, with awards and plaques all over my man cave to show for it. I work more than 40 hours per week, EVERY WEEK. I over pay on my taxes, I take care of my family, I don’t speed or break any other laws. The only time I converse with a member of law enforcement is when I am talking to one of the 3 in my family (who all also think weed should be legalized) or when I am having a conversation with one at the local 7-11.
    You could not pick me out of a line up as a “pot smoker” if you had to. And THAT IS THE POINT. People that smoke weed are not the “bad guys” you are making us out to be. We are normal people (probably some of your friends, but because you are so against it, they won’t let you know).

    If that’s funny, something is wrong.

    What is funny and what is wrong is this. The United States spends on average $8 BILLION per year in housing people that have been arrested for marijuana offenses, and another $8 BILLION per year on prosecuting those crimes.

    That is $16 BILLION per year, on a PLANT. The ONLY reason that weed is against the law is because the pharmacitucal companies that make the Xanax and other REAL DRUGS know that they will lose BILLIONS of dollars if weed were to become legal. These are facts. And if THAT is funny, then something really is wrong.

  50. polapea says: Sep 5, 2013 4:48 PM

    barbeaux says: Sep 5, 2013 11:58 AM

    Too bad smoking anything destroys the lungs. Weed smokers always claim weed cures everything. If that’s true the why did Marley die of pinky toe cancer?

    ——————-

    Bob died because as a Rasta his religious beliefs prohibited from defiling his body by having his toe removed. Just like real rasta’s don’t cut their locks, or beards and they won’t have tattoos. Not to mention the Ital diets they follow.

  51. trevor123698 says: Sep 5, 2013 5:08 PM

    “I don’t understand how guys who smoke can keep their lung capacity up. I would think you’d start to develop a cough or something.”

    All sickness is caused by nutritional problems. i follow some pretty ridiculous nutritional protocol right now and got rid of the cold I had for 10 years straight. Haven’t coughed while smoking since.

  52. hendeeze says: Sep 5, 2013 7:58 PM

    smoked the night before? Lol who cares. Ricky by his own admission was a habitual smoker. And just like how alcoholics can drink more than the casual drinker and function, a habitual smoker can smoke 24 hours prior to a game, and feel no lingering effects of the plant.

  53. jimeejohnson says: Sep 5, 2013 8:54 PM

    California teams have the best!

  54. mrmafaka says: Sep 5, 2013 9:23 PM

    So why is Crowder snitching on him now, and what is the big deal about it, RW burning some blunts is old news, at least he isn’t tied to some PED or Roids.

  55. tarniman says: Sep 5, 2013 9:36 PM

    @ nickster31 … You make some thought out points but you sound like every other bona fide pothead defending pot. I have heard alot of them defend pot some in my own family. Only 1% of Americans smoke pot on a daily basis. 60% of Americans have tried it(including myself). The 1% are the true potheads they need it everyday or else they r like a sad dog. The Drug and yes it is a Drug despite what you think. It alters the mind if it didn’t you wouldn’t enjoy it so much.

    Why do Potheads attack Alcohol so much? I agree with what every one here said about Alcohol. Yes it is terrible. I think you guys attack Alcohol so much to make yourself feel better about your addiction or if it makes you feel better your habbit. You tell yourself well at least Im not addicted to Alcohol cause Alcohol dose this and that…Its way worst than weed. Well I hope you feel better. I don’t promote Alcohol and it is a very dangerous drug. But I do know that Weed is not a walk in the park either like the picture Potheads try to paint.

    As for the Drug Dealer thing I dont think He was talking about the local weed dealer selling other drugs….He was talking the big timr drug dealer above him supplying him with the weed to sell. Thats that guy that is bring other drugs in the community as well as Weed.

    So continue to smoke your weed….just dont get caught cause it might just ruin your image of this outstanding citizen you’re trying to paint yourself as

  56. txnative61 says: Sep 6, 2013 2:22 AM

    Marijuana is psychoactive, and as such the effect is highly individualized and often enhance existing neurosis such as paranoia, until the user resolves the underlying problem. Ricky spent time traveling the world during the break from football to find the place mentally where he could sublimate the expectations of others. Many give up psychoactives entirely, and find any artificial enhancement less satisfying than the “natural” highs of clean living and unenhanced effort. Music, art, and culture can be said to have benifited tremendously from a number of drugs, including achohol, and their informed use should be a matter of individual, not collective choice. Ironically, if marijuana did indeed help Ricky’s play, it would be considered “performance enhancing”.

  57. richdaddy1231 says: Sep 6, 2013 5:35 AM

    Who cares he don’t even play anymore

  58. bobdawg602 says: Sep 6, 2013 7:21 AM

    @ steelerben

    I used to feel as you do until I realized that weed was the first drug i ever tried, It was the first drug that caused a fight in our family resulting in my Mom not talking to her sister for 7 years. Weed was the drug that taught me how to deal drugs. I learned all measurements I would need.. with weed. The dime, the gram, the nickel, an eighth, a quarter, a half , a zip and a pound, all weed. I started smoking weed when I was 12 and I’m now 48 and just celebrated six months sober… The first six months sober in 36 years. i used coke in the eighties, drank alcoholically throughout the 90′s and became a tweaker in 2000 until entering a transitional living facility in 2010. And it all started with weed. This horror story doesn’t happen to everyone, I can almost guarantee that the heroin addict who OD’d in your neighborhood last night (in ALL our neighborhoods!) Started there journey, with weed. God bless

  59. hatrhurter says: Sep 6, 2013 9:44 AM

    barbeaux- no one claims weed is a cure all. it does relieve pain, can relieve anxiety and has been proven to reduce seizures.

    tarniman- yes, i do like to get high, that doesn’t mean that marijuana has no medical benefits though.

    swaggy- please stop talking about a subject which you are ignorant on.

  60. irkjames says: Sep 6, 2013 10:40 AM

    Anyone who smokes bud on the regular doesn’t make smoking on 4/20 a big deal. That’s the one day regular smokers keep themselves on the low since every other reckless social-smoker out there is trying to be cool on “National Weed Day”.

    Thankfully, someone at the league office is cool enough to recognize that.

    10 points, Roger Goodell.

  61. bergthe1st says: Sep 6, 2013 11:09 AM

    Most of y’all don’get it. Even those on my side. I mean those saying he could even “smoke on the way to the stadium” or “an hour before the game” and he’d be ok.

    For a regular smoker, it isn’t in any way an intoxicant. Doesn’t slow down your reflexes or impair judgment at all. On the contrary, it can help one drown out distractions.

    Point is, he could probably smoke it on the sideline and then go in and ball.

  62. psousa1 says: Sep 6, 2013 11:42 AM

    Hell, I did too before my games from high school through college.

    I’m sure a heckuva lot more players than him did and still do.

    As I have aged I am no longer an advocate of it but even back in my day in the 80′s it was widespread before games (even stronger substances as well which I thought was insane).

    Nothing new to see here………..I just assumed players like Ricky Williams and Mark Stepnoski did anyway.

  63. cantonbound13 says: Sep 6, 2013 3:30 PM

    If I played for Wannesteadt I’d smoke too.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!