During the week of Super Bowl XLVII, Randy Moss declared himself the greatest receiver of all time, and then everyone spent a few days making redundant and unnecessary arguments to prove that, no, in fact Jerry Rice was the greatest WR ever.
Of course Rice was the best. But I didn’t have a problem with what Moss said. Sure, even prima donna egomaniac Hall of Fame WR Michael Irvin thought it was ridiculous to not give Rice his due. But so what? Moss is a future Hall of Famer, and he certainly changed the way teams started drafting receivers who could (almost) do what he did, and corners who could (try to) stop it.
It was the typical non-story that really didn’t deserve much time, even during the hype of Super Bowl media day. But I found it amusing to watch the media and/or former players falling over themselves with this self-righteous faux outrage… about sports! Mostly because it was so easy to be right. Rice has the rings, records, stats, AND the intangibles and documented work ethic!
The whole thing was stupid. It was the kind of garbage you’d expect in the doldrums of the off season… and so here we are. Speaking of stupid, since Jerry Rice has resoundingly maintained his grip on the title of Greatest Receiver of All Time, let’s see what else we can award him with.
I know: let’s make him not only THE greatest WR of all time, and among the best football players ever, it’s time we declare Jerry Rice The Greatest RICE of All Time.
With apologies and all due respect to his San Francisco neighbor Rice-A-Roni, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, former Sectetary of State Condoleeza Rice, as well as musicians Tony Rice and Damien Rice, Uncle Ben, author Anne Rice, and that woman who slept with Gary Hart, Donna Rice, we’ll try to just stick to athletes.
If you’re reading this, you already know about the legendary career of Jerry Rice, and all his stats, records, and rings are readily available. (And Super Bowl week gave us all a nice refresher.) But I’ll just add this little tidbit: after breaking the career TD record, he then went on to amass 10,950 more receiving yards. Which is more than the entire careers of Anquan Boldin and Greg Jennings.
The Short List of Other Great Rices:
HOF Baseball player Jim Rice. I’ll put him first, cuz he’s a Hall of Famer and I’m really not into baseball but I knew his name immediately as an all-time great so I’m pretty sure he was at least very good and possibly legendary.
Rice University Alumni: Hall-of-Fame WR Don Maynard, former Raven O.J. Brigance, Seattle Sonics guard Ricky Pierce, Patriots Pro Bowler and Super Bowl Champion LB Larry Izzo, Vikings QB Tommy Kramer, former defensive lineman N.D. Kalu, baseball stars Lance Berkman and Jose Cruz, Jr.
You might not think so when you first read this sentence, but NBA star Glen Rice could be considered a borderline hall of famer. And he slept with Sarah Palin when he was in college!
Next up we get back to the NFL with dominant DL Simeon Rice. He was the AP and PFWA Defensive Rookie of the Year (1996), a three-time Pro Bowler (1999, 2002, 2003), four-time All-Pro selection (1996, 1999, 2002, 2003), Super Bowl champion (XXXVII), and a member of the 100 Sacks Club (13th among 29). Yea, that’s good Rice.
As for active players, Ravens running back Ray Rice just got a ring and he’s that rare breed of player who’s great in real life AND in fantasy football. He’s relatively young, but RB’s don’t last long. If he can add a ring and continue this statistical pace with some longevity, and maybe add another ring, he’s a potential hall of famer.
After that we start getting to the likes of Seahawks WR Sidney Rice. Decent young player, but for the most part a signal that it’s time to start wrapping things up.
So, despite the impressive list presented here, Jerry Rice is in fact The Greatest Rice of All Time. And of course still the greatest wide receiver in NFL history. But rest assured, Randy, it’s safe to say that model Kate and WR Santana notwithstanding, you’re certainly The Greatest Moss of All Time.