Due to the recent string of headlines that Mike Williams has faced in the past couple months, as per request of Chengdu Buc, I have decided to relate a personal anecdote to the rest of Bucs Nation which depicts the often forgotten kindheartedness of Mike Williams. But first, I would first like to start by stating that Mike Williams frequently attends hospitals to visit sick children, so my story is not the only occurrence of Mike's generosity.
To give context to the story, last year I held fund-raiser for a young child with cancer of the spine. 2013 also happened to be the first year that I would be a season ticket holder. So I appealed to my season pass member sales rep, asking if she could possibly secure a donation for me. To my delight she was able to do so very quickly and without hesitation, (say what you want about the functionality of the franchise or the Glazers themselves, but this organization is filled with people who are willing to help others). We then arranged a date for me to drive down to One Buc Place so that I could receive the donation.
When I went down to One Buc, I waited in the office that off to the side of the lobby, where I was speaking to my rep about the general state of the Bucs (this story occurred back when optimism was still widely prevalent last year, in fact, is was not too long after Dashon Goldson was signed). While I was speaking to her, I noticed Mike in the lobby talking to the woman at the desk, and naturally I was inclined to ask if it was him. Of course she responded that it was; but to my surprise, she offered to introduce me to him. I was thrilled. As she introduced me to him, she mentioned my purpose in being at One Buc. Upon hearing of the fund-raiser, he asked if the boy had any siblings, Mike then stepped into the marketing office, and after a brief moment returned with a mini-helmet and two pendants, At that moment, he signed the items and told me to give one pendant to the cancer patient, and the other to his older brother, and that the helmet would make a good mantle piece for the two at home. The entire time, (even as I pummeled him with compliments for the 2012 season, and expressed my excitement for the upcoming season), Mike was very gracious and kind. Mike then said that he had to get some work in and wished me a good day.
This was my first and only personal encounter with Mike Williams, and even though it was rather brief, I could tell that he was just a good guy. And that's the primary reason I wrote this piece. I thought that some of the people on here should be reminded, or informed, that these incidents that have popped up over the past few months don't' reflect the entirety of Mike's (or any athlete's) personality. Sure, they do show a pattern of immaturity and recklessness, but that can be fixed. These incidents don't make him a "thug" or a "punk" as I have read in the comments sections on several sights; they make him a young man who needs guidance in his life and that is something that the Bucs, under Lovie Smith, can provide. My encounter with Mike is only one of, I'm sure many, moments of this man giving back to the community. And it is truly is a shame that only the negative aspects of these players' lives that make headlines, (i.e. Vincent Jackson selflessly purchased 400 tickets for veterans at the Lighting game the other night, but that story was reported on five websites, two of them being hockey related sites). I just hope that this article gives some people some perspective on Mike Williams, and some insight into the compassionate side of a man who has been unfairly portrayed by many as purely an irresponsible punk.