On Page 9B of today’s Oklahoman (Feb. 3) is a story entitled “Riley recalls perfection.” But former Miami Dolphins defensive end and Oklahoma All-American Jim Riley does far more than recall the Dolphins’ unbeaten 1972 season.
The story is about Riley, not the Dolphins. It is an account of Riley’s imperfection, not perfection.
Riley spoke of how his life became out of control, how an infection nearly cost him his left leg in 1972, how he lived with the shame of being an addict, how he sobered up and is now saving lives with his Outreach program.
And Riley shared this information the only way he knows how– with brutal honesty and hearty laughter.
“I don’t hide anything in my life, that way I never have to worry about what I say. Never,” Riley said. “It is a lifestyle that has been so easy for me because 23 years ago I’d tell all these lies and half-truths, and then have to go back and remember them. Nowadays, I don’t remember that well anyway so I have to tell you the truth. If I don’t, I’m going to mess everything up.”