As you may know, the football season or pre-season, however you want to look at it, begins with the Hall of Fame Enshrinement ceremony. This year’s inductee’s are Russ Grimm | Rickey Jackson | Dick LeBeau | Floyd Little | John Randle | Jerry Rice | Emmitt Smith(links via profootballhof). Whats special about this class is that Emmit Smith is all-time leading rusher while Jerry Rice happens to be all-time leading reciver amonsgt other things. What are these other things? Lets take a further look into Rice’s greatness. When I write, i’ve been told that there should be 50 hate and 50 love ratio. I find it hard to hate on Jerry Rice. Contemplate this for a second.
In 20 NFL seasons as his HOF page notes, he owns virtually every significant receiving mark. Some of the more notable career records include receptions (1,549); receiving yards (22,895 yards); most 1,000-yard receiving seasons (14); total touchdowns (208); and combined net yards (23,546).
To put in propesctive…I used Pro-football-reference.com to visualize the greatness. Words wouldn’t do him justice.
Career Receiving Yards
Career Receiving Touchdowns
Career Total Touchdowns
Yds from Scrimmage
All Purpose yds
Like I said, the stats speak for themselves. He is head and shoulders above everyone in most categories. His greatness cannot disputed. Of course some will. Earlier this year Terrell Owens went on record saying Rice was a product of having greats Qbs. I guess it could be partly true. He did have two hall of fame Qbs(Montana and Young) targeting him early in his career and during prime. Also can’t forget he got chance to catch balls with decent probowl Qbs in tail end of career in Jeff Garcia & Rich Gannon. My contention is that those Qbs had many targets during the years, there is a reason they kept throwing to Jerry out of all people, he is that good. Plus I don’t know why T.O. is insinuating his Qbs, for lack of a better word, suck. He had a chance to play with Young, Garcia, Mcnabb, and Romo. By no means are these guys slouches, they are pro-bowl caliber Qbs he threw under the bus time & time again. The only Qb that could really be questioned in his career is Trent Edwards who he played with last year. But whatever this isn’t about T.O.
All these stats got me thinking, could Rice’s numbers ever be matched? It takes not only longevity but offense that creates opportunities for catches. I got my money on either Andre Johnson(recently richer man) or Larry Fitzgerald for reaching a few milestones. AJ and Matt Schaub have perfect combination and could continue to put up big numbers for a long time. As for Larry, he is facing a future with Matt Leinart. An unproven Qb thus far. Larry will get his receptions but numbers will suffer. My darkhorse candidate would be Steve Smith(NYG). In his third year he had 100+ catches and no one even noticed. He and Eli could go be a Peyton/Marvin Harrison type combo, maybe??? Of course lots could happen between now and then but remember where you heard predictions first.
And just for fun, I’ll leave you with some fun Jerry stuff. Jerry went on a Sportsnation chat recently and here is a question posed and his response.
Brandon (Boston): Do you think Brett Farve is retiering for real?
Jerry RIce: I think so. I think so. There’s a lot going on TV right now. Everyone’s talking about it. With Brett, he decided that he wouldn’t be able to give 100% if he went back to Minnesota and he decided to step away.
Jerry Rice: If he comes out of retirement again, I’m hunting him down, because I just went on record as saying he’s done.
Another little fun fact, how fitting is it that Jerry Rice broke Jim Brown’s All-TIme TD record with a run…And now you know…
Finally, who can forget his struggling for dear life hairline?
Cheers to Jerry, Emmit, and the rest of HOF class on great careers and getting inducted this weekend….Chris Carter & Shannon Sharpe, better luck next year….
Written by Jovan. You can follow him on twitter.