August 8, 2010 by staff
Jerry Rice, (San Jose Mercury News) — CANTON, Ohio – This should not surprise anyone. But when it came his turn to Jerry Rice to speak here today, the man was ready.
Do you know why? I was scared. Has feared all along, as he acknowledged in his acceptance speech meticulous and strong in the Hall of Fame ceremony.
“I’m here to tell you the fear of failure is the engine that has driven me throughout my life,” said Rice. “It flies in the face of all these sports psychologists say you have to put aside their fears to succeed. But not wanting to disappoint my parents, and later my coaches, teammates and fans, is what pushed me succeed. ”
Rice added: “When I was a kid” … He was always running, even before I played sports. I ran everywhere. I did not even know why. But I guess I was preparing for something, destined for something, but I do not know why. ”
Saturday, of course, was the “what.” It was the last “what” in reality. Rice could finally stop running. He officially joined the elite club in their sport. In doing so, he looked and sounded like a million dollars. It was disrupted by a football player who always paid close attention to detail.
The induction ceremony is not a contest. But while some of the seven recruits seemed to spend much time wandering or shouting, Rice made a figure, the 16-minute presentation impressive and moving.
The rice was so well organized and rehearsed
to address the 19,300 crowd at Fawcett Stadium, did not appear to shed tears that he said he might leak, although cold to mention his late father.
Rice greeted his mother 72 years old, Eddie B. Rice, who rode here with most of the extended family of Rice in a chartered bus from Mississippi. He sat down, beaming in the front row. Eddie is in a wheelchair. She has excellent health. But she would not miss this.
“I was thinking about all the good times and how his mother is still around to see this,” said Eddie few minutes before the induction began, looking at the scenery. “It’s a blessing. I just thank God that I can be here.”
And of course Eddie had his own favorite anecdote Jerry Rice. It was when he was perhaps seven or eight years, playing the ball with his brothers in the backyard.
“Jerry would stop everything,” said Eddie. “If I threw a thorny bush to capture it.”
Maybe that’s how he was able to grind rice for many side, none of which had thorns. Rice is one of 29 receivers in the Hall of Fame, but almost deserves a separate category.
That was certainly the argument presenter Rice, former 49er owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., who boldly proclaimed in his videotaped introduction that “there is no doubt that Jerry Rice is the best athlete and soccer player has ever put the uniform. ”
In fact, there is a doubt about it, especially Jim Brown and others. But there is no doubt that Rice is the best receiver in the NFL in running pass routes.
Just as, in fact, Rice’s speech touched all the necessary elements. He thanked his many former colleagues in attendance. He put in a plug for DeBartolo unite all the players the 49ers in Canton. He specifically acknowledged Joe Montana and Steve Young, his two main quarterbacks with the 49ers, sitting on chairs to accompany the rice on stage along with the other Hall of Fame.
Furthermore, in a touching interlude, Rice spoke fondly of former 49ers coach Bill Walsh, who did not live long enough to see tonight (“I never wanted to leave my father, and I was afraid of letting down Bill Walsh .. “) Although Rice gave a nod to the Raiders, his team for three seasons, he concentrated most of their observations in the 49′s.
“There will never be another organization like the one in the history of sports,” he said.
Brent Jones, former 49ers tight end, was one of the impressed – even joked before the ceremony that he had been looking only Rice was caught when he walked past his limousine and Rice greeted at the door for Jones and his wife.
“It was like watching the King of England,” said Jones.
Hey, royalty is royalty. But for once, Rice was allowed to enjoy the ride. He concluded by saying that if there was one regret about his career, was that he did not take the time to enjoy it properly. He acknowledged that when he learned of his Hall election, a lot of emotions to the surface submerged. Also faced an understanding that football was his life reached its conclusion.
“This is finally,” said Rice. “There is no running routes. N to score more touchdowns. There is no more records to set. This young boy of Mississippi has finally stopped working. Let me stay here and catch my breath. Let me breathe all at once again. ”
And then stepped in front of the stage and shook hands, enjoying the standing ovation. After perhaps 30 seconds, returned to the microphone.
“Thanks,” said Rice. “You know what, boys?” I feel like dancing. ”
And then he went to the party after the ceremony launched by DeBartolo in a tent next to the stadium. Again on a football field, Jerry Rice, used his fear that the nails.
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