(Note before reading about a troubled youth: listen to the podcast titled "the smartest kids are still stupid." If you have kids, you'll be offended. If you don't, you'll nod your head. Regardless, it should make you laugh.)
Linebacker Willie Williams got kicked off the Louisville football team Thursday for having a bag of weed on him. He's been in trouble before.
What that story didn't mention, however, is the reason for this blog post. In a million years, when I hear the name Willie Williams, I will not think about his short careers at both Miami and Louisville. And I won't be thinking about his possible contributions to society between now and 2078, even if those contributions include the words CURE and CANCER (which is unlikely but not impossible).
Anyway, what I'll always remember about Willie Williams is his ridiculous recruiting diaries in (I believe) the Miami Herald, from 2004, when he was a highly coveted high school senior. I can't recall how I first got my hands on those diaries, but I knew I'd always view the world of recruiting differently. I always half expected coaches to be sleazeballs, and elite prospects to be prima donnas, but the Williams diaries showed that I (somehow) underestimated the seediness of recruiting.
So after I heard about Williams' expulsion from Louisville, I searched high and low for the original diaries. No dice. I really don't know why it was so difficult to locate these gems, but that's another story for another day. What I did find, though (on some message board), were solid excerpts from Williams' diaries at Florida State, Miami, Auburn and Florida. Not mentioned are the tales of private jets that some teams (or maybe it was just Florida State) supplied while wooing Williams.
Florida State University
''When Coach Bowden picked me up, he had a box of chicken wings for me... there was only like two wings. I told him `Coach, we're still going to dinner right?"
``Coach Haggins told us to order as much as we wanted. I ordered a steak and a lobster tail. The lobster tail was like $49.99. I couldn't believe something so little could cost so much. The steak didn't even have a price."
"But, then I saw what the other guys were ordering, I was like, `Forget this.' I called the waiter back and told him to bring me four lobster tails, two steaks and a Shrimp Scampi. It was good. I took two boxes back with me to the hotel.''
''Coach Bowden was cool, but Ms. Bowden was the bomb. I swear, she must be related to Betty Crocker or something. When we walked into that house, it was like walking into a Publix Bakery -- banana pudding, chocolate cake, cheesecake. I had one of everything. I didn't want to leave.''
''I really wanted to go to Red Lobster for some more lobster and steak (per the FSU visit, no doubt), but they told me the wait was two hours. So I got me some baby back ribs, buffalo wings and shrimp. Even though I ordered first, somehow, I was still the last one to get my food."
''You know how it is, those girls are supposed to be there to cheer you up. But I told them, `I ain't no animal, and I ain't going to eat no plant. I'm from Miami. I don't eat that. You farm people are used to it, but not me.'' (After several female hosts, nicknamed the 'Tigerettes,' offered him some of their spinach dip)
''One guy decided it was enough for him to commit. They tried to get me to join him. The girls were shouting, `We want you Willie. We want you.' I couldn't do it. So I just waved good-bye and got on the bus.''
"When I saw Coach Coker was driving the Escalade, I was like, `Dang, coach got some taste.' ''
''We'd get to a red light and I would hold on because the bus driver would just take it. Coach Coker was like, `Willie, we've got police escorts.' I told him, 'Thank God. I thought the police were trying to pull us over and give us a ticket.'"
''I was running like a blind man. I had my eyes closed cause I didn't want none of that smoke to get in my eyes. Coach was like, `It's OK, Willie. It isn't going to hurt you.' Now, I know." (Running out of a tunnel through a giant-sized UM helmet and the infamous smoke)
''J.R. and I figured we would stuff the Miami Hurricane jerseys under our clothes. Bobby hid his in his stomach, but he looked pregnant.''
''I ate so many meatballs, the people there started looking like meatballs. Some guy kept trying to get me to eat these alligator tails, but I wasn't having it. I told him `I'm not the Crocodile Hunter.' I don't touch reptiles.''
''There was Gatorade all over the place.'' I was like `I get it. Gatorade was made at Florida.' ''
''The first night I was OK with eating at the stadium. But when they told me we're going to eat there again, I was a little disappointed. I was like, `Take us to Red Lobster or something.'
``That's when I pretty much made up my mind. I can't live in a place that don't have any restaurants. What am I going to do -- fly home to eat shrimp?''