Former Heisman Trophy winner and All-Pro running back Ricky Williams was known for his quirky personality and his fascinating NFL career that saw him retire for a year after failing a third drug test for Marijuana during an era when the league still tested for it.
However, instead of addressing the college football legend as "Mr. Williams," the former Saint wants to be addressed under a different last name.
During an appearance on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, the 45-year-old told the co-hosts that he changed his name, keeping his real given name of Errick, but instead of Williams, he scraped his last name to take his wife Linnea's last name of Miron.
“I did it probably a year and a half ago, made it official,” Williams told Le Batard. “Something I’ve been thinking about and talking about, and I finally went through the steps. I went to the social security office with my marriage certificate, and I went through the process. It was quick and easy, and it felt meaningful. Really meaningful.”
Williams, who retired from the NFL in 2011, said his reasoning for changing his name was to create more "balance" and "trust" in their relationship.
“I’ve found that that’s been really powerful in creating ease, intimacy, and trust in my relationship,” Williams said, explaining that he took an astrology class with his wife, which helped him to learn more about their “dynamic” as a couple."
Williams added that with the fame he's accrued during his time at Texas and in the NFL, whenever he and his wife were amongst friends, it created an “imbalance” because “people would forget about her.”
“One of the ideas that popped into my mind was I can take her last name,” Williams said. “I think it’s cool. It’s somewhere where we can both win."
The former first-round pick also assumes that Williams may not even be his actual last name.
“It’s one of those family secrets,” he said. “My grandma, obviously, back then you don’t say anything. And so Williams was her husband’s name, but wasn’t my dad’s father. So Williams is not even really my last name. And if you go back far enough, its idea of it is a slave name, so I think of what is even the purpose of a last name. And I find more meaning in this last name than Williams.”
To say Williams was a star running back in his heyday would not be doing this man justice. During his Heisman Trophy-winning season in 1998, Williams rushed for over 2600 yards from scrimmage, racking up 30 touchdowns.
Williams' season was so impressive, that then Saints head coach Mike Ditka gave away the franchise's entire draft that year to take him fifth overall in the 1999 NFL Draft, ultimately backfiring for the both of them. He went on to play 11 seasons in the NFL, mostly with the Dolphins and spent his final year in the league with the Ravens in 2011 before hanging up the cleats.
Follow Jasper Jones on Twitter: @jonesj2342