Should the career of the man with most of the meaningful career receiving records have an asterisk next to them? Should Jerry Rice be removed from the Hall of Fame, or at least have his bronze bust there covered over? He’s an admitted cheater, after all.
What I remember about Rice’s play was that he stayed in such supurb physical condition in regular and off season through training and that was what allowed him to speed and route through defenses getting open where he could make a play, not that the catches then were unusual or really exceptional in any way. And yes, I’d imagine most every receiver in the league was using the exact same stuff. Further, how can we say his record is tarnished for stickum on gloves when we now allow gloves that far exceed anything available to Rice?
For the record I was a Cowboy fan and had reson to despise Rice’s success but I absolutely do not begrudge him this, he was an absolute stud of a receiver.
As lieu said, the gloves that are legal today result in catches that were unheard-of in Rice’s day. One of the things that I enjoy about the game now as opposed to when I first started watching closely in the 60s is amazing catches. Rice needs no asterisk, there is no blemish on his record, IMO.
This will blow over and Rice’s legacy will remain untarnished in the eyes of most. But I can understand if some fans view Jerry Rice a little differently. I mean, he broke the rules. I’m not saying he should be out of the Hall of Fame or anything extreme. But the “everybody did it!” excuse didn’t fly for PED users in baseball. Granted, stickum is the bottom rung of the cheating ladder while PED use is up there quite a bit.
It sounds like Jerry knew he probably should not have been using it, but I don’t think this will taint his career except for in the eyes of very, very few fans.
Like lieu, I’m a Cowboys fan, and have no love lost for the man. He was an amazing route runner, with an uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time. Not many of his catches were extraordinary or incredible to watch like some of today’s (Looking at you Beckham Jr) insane catches.
A hypocrite yes, but he deserves and earned his place in history.
During Rice’s playing years, who didn’t know that Rice, as well as many other pass receivers, used “stickem” on their hands, gloves, and forearms? It was a pretty obvious aid and its use would have been obvious to both teams and the officials.
Exactly. He plays coy and acts like he didn’t know it was illegal, but how many fans didn’t know? I was just a kid for most of Rice’s career, but I had no idea stickum was illegal (though I knew Super Glue was).
Rice’s legacy MIGHT be tainted if he were known primarily as a good-hands guy. But he wasn’t. Rice was known as a guy who got open even against tough secondaries, and who took short passes all the way to the end zone.
People rarely looked at Rice and wondered, “How did he hold on to that ball?” Rather, they looked at him and groaned, “Who the heck was covering him???” or “Dang it, he’s not even that fast!!! How’s he leaving all those defenders in the dust???”
As someone who played football in my youth, I can say that it is indeed possible to drop a ball if you have stickum on your hands. It’s not glue. It doesn’t give you that much of an edge. And it doesn’t give any edge if you ain’t the only person using it.