The NFL greats were polishing off their old busts while all eyes were on the shiny new pair. I am sure this happens in roughly 52 of the 52 weekends of the year, but this weekend is unique--in that, the busts are statues of the players themselves.
The Hall of Fame inductions, the kickoff to the new season, came and went. This years' class was highlighted by two greats of the greats. If there was a Hall of Fame for the Hall of Fame, Emmitt Smith and the Raiders own Jerry Rice would certainly be in it.
For everyone, other than Raiders fans, it may be a bit of a stretch to say the Raiders own Jerry Rice, hell it is a bit of a stretch for Raider fans, but his contributions to the team, or his resume, were certainly not insignificant.
Rice had 243 receptions, 3,286 yards and 18 touchdowns while being lucky enough to wear the Silver and Black. Without looking at the numbers I am willing to bet that the entire current group of Raiders WR's can't match these stats. The 243 receptions are the tenth most in franchise history.
I was curious to see what kind of recognition Rice would give to the Raiders. So for that reason alone, I regrettably tuned into the induction ceremonies.
Jerry Rice is the kind of guy you expect to excel at everything he does. He is hard working, intelligent, competitive and rises to the occasion. Apparently his tools do not extend to public speaking. Wow, that was rough. How he has not improved in this area is beyond me.
Beyond the sin of being awkward to listen to was the fact that he scarcely acknowledged the Raiders in his speech. While his greatness was carved with that other team, his legacy reached the untouchable plateau it sits upon with the Raiders.
I am not going to lie, I am disappointed he didn't show more love to the Raiders, but I'm not going to hold it against him. He is forever linked to the other bay area team and he gave this franchise his all while on the field and I can shrug it off, because his speech was so snooze inducing nobody is going to remember it anyway.
Congratulations Jerry Rice! The 19th player to have worn the silver and black and make it to Canton.