Ricky Watters: For His Family, For the Fans, For Football

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Meeting Ricky Watters

Mandatory Credit: Jay Dela Cruz, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

Rewinding back to before I sat down with him, he wasn’t at all like the person I had envisioned going into the interview. I walked into CSN headquarters shaking hands with guys like renowned sportscaster Dave Feldman, Niners insider Matt Maiocco and veteran sports columnist Tim Kawakami before finding myself in the room where Watters and former Niners defensive end, Dennis Brown, were getting ready for the show.

I bluntly announced to the room that I was there JUST to interview Watters, a statement to which Brown — who had spent his entire career with the Niners and played with Watters during his tenure with San Francisco — jokingly took offense to, wondering why I wasn’t there to interview him. The room erupted with laughter and Brown even took the playful banter into the hallway outside of the room, loudly teasing me and giving me a pat on the back on his way out into the open area of CSN’s headquarters.

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I would look back into the room, however, to see Watters nodding his head and chuckling mildly as he sat hunched over in one of the leather seats situated in the middle of room. He had kept his composure, watching the football analysis being broadcasted on one of the flatscreen TV’s on the wall. I continued to observe him, his mannerisms and the way he spoke, questioning whether this was the same Ricky Watters I had seen in highlights, the one who let his emotions run free on the field and had no sense of censorship when it came to his loudmouth behavior.

But when I sat down with him that day in San Francisco, I came to realize that maybe, this was the guy the Watters had been all along. Maybe, he was kind of like Golden State Warriors All-Star and NBA MVP Stephen Curry — noticeably a cocky and emotional player during the game, but completely different outside the confines of the arena.

Whether that observation is true, it’s clear that after years of being away from the game, living his life after football and being blessed with the responsibilities of fatherhood, Ricky Watters’ dynamic levels of maturity, wisdom and understanding is exactly what makes being a football analyst such a great fit for him.

However, even Watters admits that becoming a broadcaster really wasn’t part of the plan.

"“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after football, or I would have done it right after retirement,” Watters said. “12 years after retirement has made it much more challenging.”"

As easy as the transition could have been had Watters transitioned directly into broadcasting following his playing career, the Ricky Watters I was introduced to appeared to be one of the most thoughtful, reflective guys I have ever gotten the pleasure to know.

It was after that hour of picking his brain that I realized it’s his experiences outside of football that contributed most to his philosophies on life.

Next: Ricky Watters: The Family Man

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