Recently former Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Andre Rison made a few comments that made me raise an eyebrow. In case you haven't read his statement here it is:
“Best receiver to ever play the game. I can’t show my highlights because I don’t own NFL Films, but all my coaches in college, in high school, in junior college, they all told me I could be the best. But they must’ve lied because that title was already given to Jerry Rice.Just because you have stats doesn’t mean you’re the best. Can’t nobody tell me that Andre Reed isn’t better than Jerry Rice. I’m seeing cornerbacks on the 75th anniversary team that I used to demolish. But I’m coming out with my own hall of fame.”
There is no doubt that Andre Rison was a great receiver. He was a 5 time pro bowler and in 1990 he was named to the NFL all pro 1st team. A few of his comments made me want to take a closer look to see exactly how accurate Mr.. Rison's recollection of his career was.
1) "all my coaches in college, in high school, in junior college, they all told me I could be the best". OK this one is ridiculous, other people saying you could be the best usually follows with a but. Like you could be the best but you need to stop telling the Cleveland Browns fans various cuss words after signing a lucrative deal with the Browns while the team moves to Baltimore. Or you could be the best but your girlfriend just burned down your Atlanta mansion.
2) "Can’t nobody tell me that Andre Reed isn’t better than Jerry Rice". Actually everybody can tell you that Jerry Rice is better even Andre Reed. Andre Reed has 0 super bowl rings, Jerry Rice has 3. Jerry Rice is #1 in receiving yards, receptions and touchdowns.
3) "I’m seeing cornerbacks on the 75th anniversary team that I used to demolish". Now this one initially I believed. Rison had 5 good seasons were he was an elite receiver. I decided to look at the 75th anniversary team and see which cornerbacks were on it. The four cornerbacks on it are: Mel Blount, Mike Haynes, Dick "night train" Lane and Rod Woodson. Woodson was the only cornerback that was in the league when Rison was active. His career versus the Steelers when Woodson was playing cornerback (later in his career Woodson moved to safety):
4 catches for 54 yards against the Steelers on 11-4-1990. Lost.
4 catches for 50 yards against the Steelers on 9-27-1993. Lost.
5 catches for 38 yards against the Steelers on 11-26-1995. Lost.
2 catches for 16 yards against the Steelers on 11-17-1996. Lost.
4 catches for 42 yards against the Steelers on 9-1-1996. Win.
So by demolish he meant lose 4 out of the 5 games and average 4 catches and 40 yards per game.
In case you are curious about how Rison stacks up in NFL history here are his career stats:
29th in career receptions.
29th in career receiving yards.
14th in career receiving touchdowns.
42nd in career total touchdowns.
Andre Rison was a great receiver, but best ever? not even close. Just ask the 7 NFL teams he played for and the CFL's Toronto Argonauts.
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