The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners

The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners
A review and commentary on the history & lastest events surrounding the 17 time NFC Western Division & 5 -Time World Champion San Francisco 49ers. From 1946 and the All America Football Conference to 2009 and the road to a 6th Super Bowl title - For true fans of the scarlet and gold! Enjoy!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Top Ten All Time - Number 2

Since top ten lists are all the rage these days, the dog days til training camp starts, I thought it was time for one more! Since USA Today is counting down the top 25 players of the last 25 years til camp,(and we will keep you up to date on the Niner notables on that list), I will go one better. Here is number 2 on my list of top ten players of all time, regardless of era or position. And yeah, there might be a 49er or two in here!!

Number 2:

Jerry Rice, San Francisco 49ers, 1985-2000, Oakland Raiders, 2001-04, Seattle Seahawks, 2004

With the 16th pick in the 1985 Draft, Bill Walsh and the 49ers selected a player that most teams didn't regard as worthy of a first round choice. Other than the Dallas Cowboys, selecting two spots later, there was little competition for the services of this unheralded wide-out from a tiny division 1AA school.

From a stellar 1985 rookie season, 13 Pro Bowls in 20 seasons, to Super Bowl XXIII MVP and a record 1,848 receiving yards in 1995 and beyond, there are a myriad of superlatives that could describe Joe Montana's favorite target. However, let's approach this by looking at Rice's legacy as he left the game: looking back on his indelible mark.

Rice retired as the leader in a number of statistics. His 1,549 receptions were 448 receptions ahead of the second place record held by Cris Carter. His 22,895 receiving yards were 7,961 yards ahead of the second place spot held by his Raiders teammate Tim Brown. His 197 touchdown receptions were 67 scores more than Carter's 130, and his 207 total touchdowns were 32 scores ahead of Emmitt Smith's second place spot of 175.

To get an idea of how massive his 22,895 receiving yards are, if Rice had not gained any other yards on rush attempts or kick returns, his 22,895 receiving yards would still rank him second place on the NFL's list all-purpose yard leaders (category based on combination of rushing, receiving, kick/punt return yards, and interception/fumble return yards).

Rice will always be remembered for his supreme work ethic and dedication to the game. In his 20 NFL seasons, Rice missed only 17 regular season games, with 14 of them occurring in a single year (the 1997 season when he tore his knee ligaments), and the other 3 occurring in the strike shortened season of 1987. His 303 games are by far the most ever played by an NFL wide receiver, and are only 51 games behind the NFL record. In addition to staying on the field, his work ethic showed in his dedication to running precise routes, with coach Dennis Green calling him "the best route runner I've ever seen".

In 1999, he was ranked number 2 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players of All Time. Only Jim Brown was ranked ahead of him, and Rice -- 35 places ahead of the next-highest-ranked player then active, Deion Sanders -- would play another five seasons.

Called "the greatest player to ever play the game" by his former San Francisco offensive coordinator and current Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, Rice left the NFL prior to the 2005 season with 38 records. During his 20-year career, Rice, who came to refer to himself as the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), won three Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers and caught a pass in 274 consecutive games, a phenomenal streak that stretched from his rookie season in 1985 until early in his final campaign in 2004.

Rice didn't just break many of the records he now holds, he obliterated them. He passed Jim Brown's mark of 126 total touchdowns to become the all-time leader in 1994, then extended the mark by 81 scores over the next 11 seasons. His mark of 1,549 career receptions is 448 more than Cris Carter, who is second with 1,101.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I see that you are now on the topw 100 sports sites as I think it said # 25 - wow that is cool. Ma

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