On October 13th, 1962, the greatest football player to ever live — Jerry Lee Rice — was born in Crawford, Mississippi. Rice, who turns 53 today, went on to play 20 NFL seasons before walking away from the game in 2005 with three Super Bowl rings, over 100 NFL records, and as the only player to ever score 200+ touchdowns in his career (Rice finished with 208 TDs; Emmitt Smith is the next closest with 175 TDs. The closest active NFL player is Antonio Gates, who just caught his 101st TD this past Monday night.)
Now, not only was Rice the greatest football player to ever live (numbers don’t lie, folks), but he was also The Informer’s first true sports hero. So because Rice was The Informer’s first sports hero growing up, today we are going to help Rice celebrate his birthday by reliving The Informer’s Top 5 favorite Jerry Rice memories.
So with that in mind, let’s honor the G.O.A.T.
5. Jerry Freaking Rice
So this is not really a memory; it’s more of an excuse to play a 12-minute highlight tape of Jerry Rice. But man, watch the video. Jerry Rice was a man amongst boys.
Also, before we move on, The Informer needs to ask…How is there not a montage of Rice highlights with that song “I’m the man, I’m the man” playing? They have those for Jordany Valdespin (What in the hell is a Jordany Valdespin?), the Missouri Tigers football team, Braxton Miller, John Manziel, a cricket player named David Warner, Jimmy Garoppolo, and someone called Stanislas Wawrinka; and yet the greatest football player ever does not have one? Come on internet. You are better than that.
4. Look Mom One Hand
Obviously, when a guy has 1,549 career NFL receptions, he is going to have his fair share of spectacular plays. But, for The Informer, Jerry Rice’s best reception was a one-handed catch down the sideline against the Los Angeles Rams that prompted Chris Berman to describe the highlight on NFL Prime-time by simply saying, “Look mom, one hand.”
(The Informer note – Again, thanks to the internet not doing their job with proper Jerry Rice highlight videos, The Informer could not find the exact play. Instead The Informer was forced to use a longer highlight that actually showed the play in question. So here is the video, you just have to fast forward to the 30-second mark to see the catch.)
3. Super Bowl XXIX
Entering Super Bowl XXIX, Jerry Rice had already won a Super Bowl MVP; he had already scored 3 TDs in another Super Bowl; he already owned pretty much every single Super Bowl receiving record; and he was already considered the greatest WR to ever play.
So it was really no surprise when Rice once again took over the grand stage by tying his own Super Bowl record with three touchdown catches in the 49ers 49-26 domination of the San Diego Chargers. People remember that game as the Super Bowl that got the monkey off of Steve Young’s back, but for a ten-year old Informer it was just another reminder of why Jerry Rice was his hero.
2. Rice Breaks NFL TD Record on Monday Night Football
Jerry Rice entered the 1994 NFL Season needing just three touchdowns to pass Jim Brown for the NFL record for most touchdowns in NFL history. That year, the 49ers started the season on Monday Night Football against the Los Angeles Raiders giving Rice the perfect stage to cement his NFL legacy. Rice, as usual, did not disappoint the national audience as he scored three touchdowns to break Jim Brown’s record.
It is now 21 years later and Rice still is the gold standard when it comes to NFL touchdowns.
1. Super Bowl XXIV
The Informer’s first memory of Jerry Rice was watching #80 torch the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXIV to the tune of 7 receptions, 148 yards and 3 TDs. To this day, watching Rice run circles around the Donkeys is one of The Informer’s favorite sports memories ever.
So naturally, it has to be The Informer’s favorite Jerry Rice memory ever.