Jerry Rice Hall Of Fame: Top Five Reasons He's The Best WR Ever
Ever since Jerry Rice came into the league in 1985, he's simply dominated his opposition and become one of the most significant icons in the world of football. This Saturday, August 7th, he is set to be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In honor of one of my favorite players of all-time, here are the top five reasons why I firmly believe he's the greatest receiver ever.
5. Played With Class
In my mind, a key element that separates the greats from the legends is one's character.
Jerry Rice displayed tremendous class and was a role model of sportsmanship and citizenship throughout his career.
Instead of showboating and participating in excessive celebrations, he remained modest and allowed his play on the gridiron do the talking.
He truly set the standard of how a professional football player should carry himself on and off the field.
4. Was The Best Against The Best
To truly determine whether or not one can be ranked as one of the greatest of all time, he must perform at his best against the best.
Jerry Rice did exactly that as he played extremely well against arguably the greatest cornerback of all-time, Deion Sanders.
In their ten meetings, Rice compiled a total of 60 receptions for 1,051 yards and 11 touchdowns, which over the course of a 16-game season would result in 96 receptions for 1,682 yards and 18 touchdowns.
3. Work Ethic, Dedication, and Passion
An integral key to success in all aspects of life is to prepare.
Jerry Rice had that principle firmly ingrained in his mind, as he is noted to be one of the most dedicated and hard working athletes to ever play in the NFL.
He would spend countless hours in the weight room, on the practice field, and studying film, all in order to earn a competitive advantage over his opposition.
Steve Young stated that he once witnessed Jerry Rice running wind sprints all by himself...after they won the Super Bowl.
That, in my opinion, is a prime example of work ethic.
2. Records, Awards, and Championships
Jerry Rice currently holds virtually every all-time major statistical category for receivers, by far.
He's caught 1,549 receptions for 22,895 yards and 197 touchdowns, which are numbers I don't expect any receiver to ever come close to.
He's a 13-time Pro Bowler, 11-time First Team All-Pro, and a member of, both, the 1980's and 1990's All-Decade team.
Moreover, he's done what every professional football player strives to do--win championships. He was an essential ingredient of the 49ers victories in Super Bowl XXIII, XXIV, and XXIX.
In the three games combined, he registered an astounding 28 receptions for 512 yards and 7 touchdowns.
1. Consistent Dominant Performance From Start To Finish
Jerry Rice's 21-year career started with a boom and ended with a bang.
Just a look at his mind-boggling numbers can show you has obvious incredible talent.
He possessed reliable hands, ran precise routes, and had an immense understanding of the game. Not to mention, despite running a 4.71 40 yard dash at the NFL Draft Combine, he was a tremendous athlete and made numerous acrobatic grabs throughout his highlight-filled career.
Despite two career-threatening knee injuries, he effectively used those gifts to consistently produce at a high level year in and year out.
Even today, Jerry Rice remains the epitome for an elite receiver.
Personally, Jerry Rice is one of my favorite players of all-time and his play was clearly one of the most dominating. He has left behind a great legacy for future receivers to follow, and I’m proud to honor him for his services to the league.
Moving forward, I wish him the best of luck in whatever direction he wishes to pursue.
Be sure to tune in to ESPN from 7-10 PM ET, and watch history be made as Jerry Rice, along with six other football legends, will be officially inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.