Whatever Dick has, it has to be the best. His Malibu "crib," as he calls it, has four fireplaces, a closet the size of most people's master bedrooms (he needs room for those 95 pairs of shoes), a Ferrari Testarossa (worth about $300,000), a Ford Bronco and a customized van he got for free. The van has a TV, VCR, CD player and two cassette decks. Dick's end of the deal is that he has to drive it.
To Dickerson, these are the wages of greatness. He wants to dress like the best, own the best, be the best. So don't try to tell him he isn't. On Jackson: "He's not in my caliber. He's a great back, but I have better moves than Bo." On Charles White, who replaced him on the Rams in '87 after the big trade that sent Dickerson to Indianapolis for a herd of players and draft choices, and who then won the rushing crown in that strike-shortened season: "I like Charlie, but that was a fluke." On the 5'10" Greg Bell, who replaced White: "A dwarf." On Brown, who once rated Dickerson as a five on a scale of one to five for talent but gave him a one for heart: "That's a joke. I've played hurt my whole career. Jim Brown played when guys were 170 pounds. Now they're 280, running 4.5 40s. Jim Brown ran about a 4.8 40. Jim Brown was great in his day, but his day is gone."
When Dickerson was not among the 10 highest-paid running backs in the league in '86, he bitched and moaned and finally insulted his way out of L.A. He called Rams vice-president John Shaw "an eel." He pulled himself out of a Monday night game with the Cleveland Browns, saying his leg muscles were tight. When the money loosened up the next week with the trade to Indianapolis, so did the muscles. The Colts gave him the fattest paycheck—$1.45 million per year—of any running back in the league. That deal expires at the end of next season, and word is the Colts are ready to offer $2 million a year to extend the contract, though Dickerson has put the talks off for now.
Dickerson became known to Joe Barcalounger as a cash-sucking ingrate, the man who would leave a good team for money, pure and green. "These fans don't understand," says Dickerson. "They call pro football a game. It isn't a game. Playing Scrabble, playing dice, those are games. You don't break your neck playing Scrabble."
Uh-oh. The nostrils flare.
SEE DICK DATE
Twenty-four hours after the Denver game, Dickerson is sitting on the hottest couch in television—Arsenio Hall's. Outside the studio building waits a white limousine large enough for tonight's roster of lovely escorts: Tia, Maria, Michelle, Kimberly and Theresa. Dick dates only Theresa, but the others come along because women always come along with Dickerson.
So how come Dickerson is so alone? How come after a big game or a bad game "there's no one for me to come home to"? How come it's still just Dick and Reese's Pieces for breakfast? "I make too much money to marry some woman right now," says Dickerson. "I don't want to make all this money and then have some judge give it to some woman. Why should she get it? She's never been in a trainer's room."
Dickerson says Viola once told him, "Eric, I'm the only woman you can trust. You can't trust any other women. They'll turn on you. You can't even trust your own sisters, 'cause they could get married and turn against you."
So Dick doesn't trust women. He believes his former girlfriend, Rea Ann Silva, got pregnant by him nearly three years ago on purpose. "She was just somebody looking for a meal ticket," Dickerson says. She bore him a daughter, Erica, and filed a paternity suit against him, as a result of which he's paying child support. He has seen Erica, who lives in Los Angeles, three times.