In print, that is. If it happened in reality, it would be a much bigger story. But Albom took Williams to task in yesterday’s Detroit Free Press for something Williams after the Bears ass-romping of the Lions on Sunday.
Albom had issues with Williams getting up and celebrating after making a first down catch in the 1st quarter. Williams has always gotten up and celebrated first down catches, and when I say celebrated, I don’t mean that he broke out a 4-minute choreographed dance routine. He gets up, makes some kind of a motion or gesture, and he moves on. Albom didn’t like it because the Bears were down 10-0 at the time.
I don’t agree. Now, granted, I think it’s unspeakably dumb for someone to celebrate when the game has clearly been decided, and they’re on the wrong end of it. If it was 17-0, with 3:21 left to play in the game, and Williams is jumping up and down, then yes, he’s an idiot. But at 10-0 in the first quarter, the Lions hadn’t gotten their asses kicked, nor were they even getting their asses kicked yet. If he wants to get up and do something to fire himself up and fire the team up, I don’t see a thing wrong with that.
The game was not over, and no one on the Lions, at that point in the game, had anything to be hanging their heads about. There was a lot of football to be played. You can still come with it then.
And then there was Williams’ quote, which Albom had some fun with in particular.
“I celebrate first downs all the time. I’m not gonna stop that. I’m an exciting player. If I do something exciting, I’m gonna show my actions.”
“But you were losing, 10-0.”
“What does that mean? … That means nothing to me. The score means nothing.”
Oh. My bad. I thought that’s how they determined who won.
Now, it’s easy to jump on that, but… there’s no way that Williams meant that in the way that Albom made it look like he did. I think Williams meant that the score wasn’t relevant right then to his celebration, as in… the Lions were still in the game, he was still fired up and ready to play, he was still going full throttle. But Albom used it to take a shot at Roy Williams, making it look like he was an ignorant, selfish, me-first jerk, which I don’t think is fair. Mitch Albom just bullied Roy Williams with his typewriter.
Roy Williams cares about the score, and Roy Williams cares about winning and losing. And these are things that Mitch Albom damn well knows. It bugs me because once a guy gets a reputation as a selfish, me-first player, it’s almost impossible to shed. And the media, especially influential members like Albom, can really influence something like that.
There have never been any questions about the work ethic of Williams, or that he’s not a team guy. If you’re looking for Detroit wide receivers that were high draft picks that have those qualities, then they aren’t hard to find. Williams’ pre-game guarantee was silly, and he’s an easy target right now, but he didn’t deserve that.