Today is Ricky's Grey Cup

Ricky Williams at the Rogers Centre May 28th, 2006. (Dave Abel/Sun Photo)

Ricky Williams at the Rogers Centre May 28th, 2006. (Dave Abel/Sun Photo)

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:55 AM ET

A toddler named Prince Williams wasn't taking the Argos' most recent loss quite so hard as his reluctantly famous father.

Rummaging through Ricky Williams' equipment bag and generally cutting through the gloom, the youngster was immune to the vibe of a losing dressing room.

But Williams, chin in his hands, eyes staring straight ahead showed Argos coach Michael Clemons something in his reaction to the 24-20 loss to Montreal.

"Ricky talked about it being the toughest loss in his career," Clemons said this week. "Even though you want guys to move on, that was one of the greatest moments I had this year. When guys share my passion for it, I love to see it."

That commitment could end today should the Argos fall to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the CFL East semi-final.

A loss and the Williams experiment will be over and, right or wrong, graded by most as a failure.

Win and it's on to Montreal's Olympic Stadium for the East final next Sunday. Clemons, for one, is expecting a big effort from the former Miami Dolphins star.

"What I expect is the greatest effort of any player on the football field," Clemons said yesterday. "His intensity is out of this world, you see why he has had the success he has. He'll be playing the Grey Cup tomorrow. He'll be playing it again next week and again the following week."

In his 11 CFL games, Williams was held to 526 rushing yards, a far cry from some of the predictions when he was signed, on loan, from the Miami Dolphins.

There are any number of explanations for that limited production, including injury and the Argos' offensive woes.

And then there was the celebrity factor.

"He had a target on his chest," Bombers receiver Milt Stegall said yesterday. "Every time he got the ball, everybody said: 'We're going to smack Ricky Williams, so I can be on ESPN.'"

MODEL TEAMMATE

From all reports, Williams has been a model teammate. And he has stayed patient, believing the team is still capable of busting out offensively.

"The challenge, because we haven't been healthy all year, is to find a balance between our passing game and our running game," Williams said.

"It's a challenge but we've made a lot of progress over the last month or so."

But whether his CFL season ends today under the dome, next week in Montreal or in Winnipeg at the Grey Cup, it won't be Williams who has regrets.

"A lot of people would have thought coming to this experience would have been taking a step backwards," Williams said. "But for me, it's been a huge step forward."


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