Jerry Rice Talks Shit
Here is a full article written by Bob Padecky from the Press Democrat. All I have to say is, well I’m speechless.
— Jerry Rice’s book was released Tuesday and the quickest review is this: Rice and John York won’t be sharing a pizza any time soon.
Not that the 49ers’ owner is the only target of the former wide receiver. Rice also took his shots at Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, John Taylor, Bill Romanowski, Warren Sapp, Alex Smith, Norv Turner, Shaun Alexander and, last but certainly not least, Barry Bonds, of all people.
Yes, many tender moments dot the pages of “GO LONG! My Journey Beyond the Game and the Fame.”
It is not a classic tell-all, slam-all autobiography that scorches reputations. Rice has fond words for his family, Bill Walsh, Joe Montana, Steve Young, Eddie DeBartolo and Ronnie Lott, and he speaks reverently and with humility of his hard scrabble Mississippi beginnings.
He goes back and forth on Al Davis, Jon Gruden and his father. But without much compromise, Rice throws some heavy punches at the 10 people listed in the first paragraph.
Rice was nobody’s fool as a player. He kept his tongue in check for most of his 21-year career, understanding performance, not oratory, was his occupation. Now retired, Rice has taken the muzzle off, releasing his inner diva. It is that persona which emerges from the book. At times unforgiving, relentless or direct, Rice doesn’t mince words.
It is those words that will be displayed now, with a short rebuttal following.
“As for the San Francisco 49ers I don’t see a bright future the way things are going now. I know the players on the roster are merely OK. Young quarterback Alex Smith is overrated and is not the next great 49ers QB.”
Could Rice be trapped into comparing Smith to Montana and Young?
“John York, the current owner, is more interested in marketing and promotional opportunities than he is in bringing top-flight players to San Francisco.”
York honored Rice at home Nov.19 at halftime of the Seahawks game. Apparently, it didn’t make much of an impression.
“If Randy Moss had the drive to be great, he could be the greatest wide receiver ever to play the game – he’s that good. His size and speed and ability to get open make him virtually untouchable. But Randy is more of a follower than a leader, and plays up to his abilities only when he wants to, and those two characteristics will prevent him from ever reaching his potential.”
Rice nailed Moss perfectly.
“He (Bill Romanowski) was very laid-back when he first entered the NFL. But after Bill left the 49ers … he turned from Bill to ‘Romo.’ He began taking pills and supplements and it changed his physique and his psyche. When we reunited in Oakland, I didn’t know this guy anymore. He literally scared me. His muscles had exploded, his eyes looked bigger and his temper on the game field and in practice was uncontrollable.”
In the book, the only other person who intimidated Rice was his father, who was not on steroids.
“John (Taylor) is the extreme example of someone who could perform without real practice. Just imagine how much better he could have been had he believed in Practice = Play. He could have been great; instead he was just good.”
Rice has no forgiveness for someone who fell below his all-consuming dedication.
“Norv (Turner, then-coach of the Raiders) was never really head coach material … He couldn’t control the players and guys like Charles Woodson walked all over him. Woodson routinely showed up for practice and meetings when he felt like it, along with some teammates.”
Turner still has the tread marks on his forehead to prove it.
“We (Raiders in Super Bowl) weren’t prepared, we weren’t ready and we weren’t focused. So when the opportunity came to speak up, I did … I could tell by their body language they weren’t interested (listening). … seemed to take the loss as just another regular-season game. They were just happy to have made the Super Bowl, apparently.”
An Al Davis team, not ready to play? Who would ever have thought that?
“(Terrell Owens’) problem, like so many other good players, is the attitude. I wonder how much better he could be if he just stuck to football, not entertainment. If you cross Terrell, he can’t ever seem to let it go … Doesn’t Terrell realize he’s a role model to all of the kids watching him?”
Jerry, the man doesn’t care.
“But has Peyton (Manning) won a very big game? Until he does, I won’t consider him a great quarterback.”
It’s a fair comment.
“When he (Donovan McNabb, Eagles quarterback) had a chance on the biggest stage – the Super Bowl – he wilted. Great players play their best in the biggest games. He didn’t. He made bad decisions and it cost his team.”
Is there something personal going on between McNabb and Rice?
“I can’t put him (Seattle running back Shaun Alexander) up there with the best. A lot of his teammates don’t feel he is of the highest caliber and do not believe he is a leader – a characteristic that all the greats have.”
Is there something personal going on between Alexander and Rice?
“But I thought what Warren did was wrong and uncalled for. The fact that he held onto my facemask instead of letting go makes me think it was intentional. Warren knew (it was wrong). It pissed me off … It still upsets me (Sapp’s tackle in 1997 tore Rice’s two knee ligaments.)”
In this instance, Rice is like Terrell Owens. He can’t seem to let go. Understandably.
“I think the San Francisco organization was thinking with their wallets, not their heads, and liked the promotional and commercial implications of my return on that Monday night despite the risks to me. (Rice broke a bone in his knee in a December 1997 game, trying to return from the ligament injury).”
Rice seems to be thinking with his heart here, not his head.
“I wonder how Tom (Brady, New England quarterback) would do without a great team behind him.”
The same thing could be said about Montana or Young.
“I would get my revenge on players who talked smack not only by sticking it to them in the game but by taking away their pride and confidence. Just thinking about them painfully watching the game film the next day brought a smile to my face as we won the game.”
He may have not displayed publicly Ronnie Lott’s ruthlessness, but Rice was every bit as merciless.
“Maybe whipping them like my father did to me was not the best way to teach them. Maybe I neglected them at a time when I should have been there.”
It’s not every day a prominent athletes bares his personal warts.
“To this day, I never believed I was the best receiver ever.”
No problem, Jerry. Everyone else did.
“Taking nothing away from Steve (Young), of course, who proved that he is among the NFL’s best, but if I had a choice of quarterbacks to be behind center in a big game, there was no question it would be Joe (Montana).”
Joe would also say the same thing about you and wide receivers.
“As athletes we know exactly what we are putting into our bodies, which is why I had to smirk when I read that Barry Bonds made statements that he didn’t know what his trainers were giving him in response to steroid-use allegations related to the now-infamous BALCO investigation. C’mon, he knew exactly what he was doing.”
Nah, it was all Greg Anderson’s fault, and Mark Sweeney’s, and probably the plumber, too.
“If reading my journey has inspired you at all – even just a little – then let me know. That’s the most gratifying thing to me.”
Yes, Jerry, your book will not go unnoticed. Any day now you should be getting a love letter from, well, pick a name. Any name.