One of the earlier creations in my Second Series of 1955 All-American style custom football cards was Ricky Williams. I created the card shortly after Ricky announced his retirement in August, 20o4.
His first retirement was related to a pending suspension for using marijuana, and I noted something to that effect in the biography I wrote for the back of my card.
Williams, of course, returned to the NFL for the 2005 season, then played 2006 in the Canadian league while he sat out an NFL drug-related suspension. He played one game in 2007 before being injured. He was a productive running back for the Dolphins the past two seasons.
In light of the fact that Williams has rehabilitated himself -- at least to a degree of compliance with NFL standards -- I have to give some thought to whether or not to rewrite the biography on the back of my card.
This comes up because I just sent off the last of my original Ricky Williams custom cards to a collector who is going to meet with Williams and wants to get it autographed. (I know of the existence of one other autographed example of the card.)
Since I need to replenish my inventory of this card, in fairness to Ricky, it would seem only right to expunge the last sentence from the original version when I go back to press. However, that smart-ass remark has made my Williams card one of the most popular among my custom creations. What do you think?
When I do reprint the card, I'm going to lighten up the player photo a bit, since my Photoshop technique has improved some since I created the initial version. The photo I used came from the back of a "real" Ricky Williams football card from one of the major manufacturers.
Back in 2004 I was working the SCD booth at the George Johnson autumn card show in Chicago when a youngster of 7-8 years of age stopped by the booth. He was wearing a replica Ricky Williams Dolphins jersey. I asked him if he was still a Ricky Williams fan. He said he was, so I gave him one of my cards. I told him he was the only other person in the world to have that card, and he seemed truly appreciative.