Joe Rose and Channing Crowder — individually — are wild, entertaining characters and coincidentally both former Miami Dolphins turned WQAM hosts.
Combine the two, throw in some live microphones and the epic stories of their playing days start flowing. That’s exactly what happened on the WQAM yesterday.
Rose began dishing about his days in the league when he used to run up Dan Marino’s hotel tab on road trips with extravagant room-service dinners. But it was Crowder’s recollection of playing host to a star recruit at Florida that stole the show.
When asked what his wildest story was, Willie Williams immediately came to Crowder’s mind. For some brief context, Williams was a big-time linebacker recruit out of Carol City High in Miami, eventually attending and getting kicked out of both Miami and Louisville.
“The wildest one was probably Florida,” Crowder said. “I was his host. Willie Williams. Crazy, Joe. Willie Williams weekend. They said he was crazy and I’m looking at coach, like coach, what the hell am I? This is terrible… I guess his coach requested me because I was young, I was a freshman All-American, so I had had some young success. So they wanted him to talk to me as a good influence but I told coach I’m not a good influence, I’m a bad influence on people.”
Crowder initially thought Willie would be a lunatic from the get-go but he showed up to dinner and was cool, amazed at the chocolate waterfall at the restaurant.
After dinner is when Wild Willie busted out.
“Then we get to the party side and the beers get involved and then somebody brings a bottle of Hennessy or something and he turns into a wild animal,” Crowder said. “So he starts taking his shirt off and he’s tipsy. I say you know what — this is my young thought — let’s just get him tore up to where he can’t function and we’re just gonna drink him under the table. The night will be over and he’ll go to sleep or wake up in the morning and we’ll tell him he had a good time.”
The plan backfired.
“His body was made for that. I don’t know if he was drinking as a kid but we started giving him the Crowder Cocktails — a half of a Heineken, a shot of patron, a shot of Hennessy, a shot of vodka, to fill up the rest of the Heineken bottle. Then you’ve got to chug it. That’s the entry to go out with us. We gave him two of them. That’s six shots, a full beer — he should be asleep. He cranks up more. We get to the club, he’s walking around, talking to girls. I say okay girls are here, he’s involved, he’s okay. Next thing I know — big hoopla — there’s a big fight in the club, he’s on top and I drag him back to the bathroom.
“We get him out of the club, no incidents. We get in the parking lot. Guy is walking across the parking lot yelling at somebody. He just takes off running and cleans him up, knocks him out — BOW. So at this point, this is when the ditching comes in, Joe. I’m on probation. I say ‘hey guys y’all got Willie, I’m gone.’ So I jumped in the car with some friends and left.”
Sometime after Crowder beelined from the five-star recruit’s craze, Willie went to his hotel and sprayed a fire extinguisher in his buddy’s face for not wanting to go out.
“This is the part of the story that really upsets me about Willie,” Crowder said. “They come to his door, knock on his door, hey were you playing with the fire extinguisher? No. He was four doors down from his friend that he fire extinguished and all the dust was in the hallway so they followed his feet back to his room and he had the fire extinguisher in his tub with a trail of dust back to his room. And I saw him later that day on Saturday and I’m just looking at him, you can’t be that crazy. Now he was in nice Willie mode: ‘my bad, I got a little out of line.’
“The wildest recruit, me or anyone else, was Willie.”
Where’s Willie today? In prison.
As if that story wasn’t juicy enough, Crowder spoke of his visit to Penn State as a recruit, which was “the worst.”
“They sit me in a room with two bottles of Mad Dog 20/20 Banana Red,” Crowder said. “They say ‘drink these, we’re gonna go out.’ Okay, I get all feeling good. We walk out of the door, go down two doors and go back into an apartment and it’s four big white girls sitting there and me. Big ole white girls. Talkin’ about 250.”
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