CLEVELAND - A day after a homeless man from Columbus became an Internet sensation, the Cleveland Cavaliers have offered the man a job and a house, the team confirmed to NewsChannel5.
Ted Williams has become a national phenomenon overnight, and during an interview on Columbus radio station 97.9 Wednesday morning, a spokeswoman from the Cavs called in and made him the offer.
The team offered Williams full-time voiceover work with the Cavs and Quicken Loans, and also offered to pay a mortgage on a home. [WEB EXTRA: Click the video player to watch Cavs announcer Fred McLeod's reaction to Williams' voice]
“We’d like to offer you full time work with the Cleveland Cavaliers, as well as Quicken Loans Arena,” spokeswoman Tracy Marek said. “On top of it, because we know you’re a person trying to get up and on your feet, Quicken Loans is actually offering to pay a mortgage on a home.”
“That’s the best deal ever!” Williams said.
After extending Williams the offer, the Cavs also launched a website to help convince him to come work for the organization. On the website, fans can leave comments encouraging Williams to come to Cleveland, and the site also features articles about Quicken Loans being a great place to work.
TheSmokingGun.com posted a story on Wednesday that listed Williams’ past crimes, which include theft and robbery. But the Cavs are still willing to give the man a second chance.
“Hasn’t changed our offer, Ted was up front about his struggles and issues,” said Cavs spokesperson Tad Carver.
At the "Q" Wednesday night many Cav's fans like Alyssa Sopko agree. "If he proves himself you can't really say no to the guy I mean look at him, he does it perfect," she said.
A Cavs spokesman said that the organization is trying to "tighten up their offer," and be more specific in the deal.
Since his story has gone viral online, Williams has started receiving job offers from all over the country, including interest from NFL Films which plans to offer him work doing voiceovers.
"NFL Films is great national product," said Cavs fan Dave Smith of Willoughby. "The Cleveland Cavs is a great local product so the Ohio guy, I think he should stick with the Cavs," he said.
The story was first reported in the Columbus Dispatch, after photographer Doral Chenoweth took video of Williams standing on the side of the road with a side that read, "I have a God given gift of a great voice." He asked Williams to show off his voice, and the video took off soon after it went up online.
Now, Williams is a hot commodity across the county.
“We’ve been so inspired by the power of your voice,” Marek said. “And certainly the other part is the power of your dreams and the power of your vision, and that’s what we’re all about."
Williams has not said if he will accept the Cavs job, as he is entertaining offers from all over the country. The Cavs were told that he is being flown out to New York City Thursday, and has several interviews scheduled.
He is also going to re-unite with his 92-year-old mother in Brooklyn, who he has not seen in almost 20 years.
Click below to watch the original video from the Dispatch. Since being posted on Tuesday, the video has over 11 million views.
Here is some background information about Williams from the Associated Press:
Williams' life began spiraling downward in 1996 when he began drinking alcohol "pretty bad." He used marijuana and cocaine and lost interest in his radio career. Williams said his last job was with a station in Columbus. He eventually wound up on the streets, despite the best efforts of his children, seven daughters and two sons who all live in the Columbus area.
"They have mixed emotions about what is going on," Williams said. "During my detox stages, I had a tendency to eat up everybody's food. I'm a grandfather, too, and I was eating what should have gone to their kids."
Williams said he celebrated two years of sobriety "around Thanksgiving. I just hope everyone will pray for me."