This game had nothing to do with the final score. It honestly didn't matter. This was James' first football game and the first time Ricky Williams touched the ball in a game as a Toronto Argonaut.
Williams only played one quarter and didn't have a single solid rush, but being there for his Argo debut was something special. The last Argo game I attended was Pinball's last game as a player so it's fitting I return to witness Williams' first. As games go, it was a dog with fleas, but that didn't matter. The real fun began after the game concluded.
Fans are invited onto the field after all home Argonaut games. James and I waited patiently for the go ahead and ran that field like we had just won the Grey Cup. James was literally rolling around on the turf as I snapped picture after picture. Soon, the players began taking the field to meet and greet fans and sign autographs. I said hi to Eric Crouch and others while keeping a look out for #27.
I honestly didn't think he'd come out to meet us, assuming he was too popular and it might be a security risk or something. Then, he appeared. Ricky Williams began making his way along the barricade signing everything presented to him. I stood six feet away from him for ten minutes, holding James and just taking in everything Williams' said and did. He was totally patient and way nicer than he had to be, and then I found myself side by side with him looking him in the eye. I wasn't even thinking about getting an autograph, I just wanted to snap a picture of him and say hi. I ended up saying three words to him. "Welcome to Toronto".
It was surreal. I saw Ricky Williams' first play as an Argo, his first quarter of action and I got to meet him. At St. George station, way past his bedtime, James fell asleep in my arms and I carried him the rest of the way home. We just got in and I'm still buzzed. Tonight, the score didn't matter one iota. This was about something better.