Rice admits to “illegal” use of stickum

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Now that football season officially is over, Patriots fans can spend more time scouring the Internet for links and videos to support the notion, as previously articulated by PFT, that cheating in the NFL extends far beyond New England.

Multiple readers (presumably Patriots fans) have sent in recent days to PFT a link to a video published by ESPN on January 17, 2015 regarding the evolution of gloves.  Dated only one day before the dawn of #DeflateGate, the segment contains an admission from Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice that he may not have made if discussing the subject after expressing an opinion to Jim Rome that the ball-deflation controversy should place an asterisk on the latest Lombardi Trophy won by the Patriots.

‘I’m going to be point blank, I feel like it’s cheating,” Rice told Rome on January 22.  “Because you have an edge up on your opponent and its unfortunate that it happened.  I’m not saying the outcome of the game would have been different or anything like that because they got beat 45-7, but they still had an edge.”

In that same interview, Rice added, “I’ve played in cold weather, I know how hard the football is and you can grip the leather [if deflated] just a little bit better.”

When it comes to playing football in any conditions, the challenge becomes not only throwing it but catching it.  And in the ESPN segment narrated by Jim Trotter, Rice nonchalantly made a stunning (in hindsight) confession:  Rice put stickum on his gloves.

“I know this might be a little illegal, guys, but you put a little spray, a little stickum on them, to make sure that texture is a little sticky,” Rice said, laughing.

It wasn’t a little illegal, it was a lot illegal.  As explained in the ESPN feature, gloves were introduced to football after the NFL decided to outlaw the stuff that guys like Fred Biletnikoff and Lester Hayes (pictured) would spread copiously on their hands, and elsewhere.  Rice admitted in the feature that he enhanced the surface of gloves approved for use in the NFL with a substance that would make it easier to catch the ball.

I’m going to be point blank, I feel like it’s cheating.  Because you have an edge up on your opponent and its unfortunate that it happened.”

With or without the stickum or the gloves, Rice still would have been the greatest receiver of all time.  But, as he said regarding the Patriots, he still had an edge.

217 responses to “Rice admits to “illegal” use of stickum

  1. oh ohhhh, so now the greatest receiver in history is a cheater !!! more stories to come I bet

  2. I am now putting asterisks on all the receiving records Jerry Rice owns. And on all his Super Bowl wins. And double the asterisks on his HoF profile. Did I miss anything?

    Jerry…how could you? You live in a glass house and you’re throwing stones?

  3. So similar to how Jerry Rice would still be Jerry Rice even without the stickem the Patriots would be the Patriots without whatevergate.

    Seems like maybe good players/organizations should just trust their own ability more.

  4. Showing a pic of the Judge is really misleading because it was legal back then.

    That must mean something, no???

  5. then there is only one thing to ADD: an asterik for Rice in the Hall of Fame… sorry… his own words…

    people need to constantly be reminded… living in glass houses, shouldn’t throw stones…

  6. “I know this might be a little illegal, guys, but you put a little spray, a little stickum on them, to make sure that texture is a little sticky,”

    ‘I’m going to be point blank, I feel like it’s cheating,”

    noun: hypocrisy; plural noun: hypocrisies

    The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.

  7. I’d put some asterisks on his titles. F@#king cheater. But since he doesn’t or didn’t play in new england, he’ll get a pass.

  8. This part belongs in a Barry Bonds article… With or without the steroids, Bonds still would have been the greatest hitter of all time.

    Since apparently you can be the greatest even tho you openly say u have cheated “a little”

  9. Jerry Rice is the greatest receiver of all time, but now he’s also a bitter old man, desperately clinging to his legacy.

  10. …so the ATLANTA FALCONS shouldn’t lose a draft pick for Noisegate, just a fine & a minor firing of a stadisound guy & Rich McKay. They should even receive a compensatory 7th round pick because they sukked so bad the last 2 years at home.

  11. The fact that Rice admits to cheating has absolutely nothing to do with and in no way justifies the Patriots cheating. You can come up with examples all day of other players or teams cheating but those examples are irrelevant to this situation. Quit trying sugarcoat the fact that this team cheated and has a known of history of cheating by comparing this situation to other, non comparable, situations.

  12. I’ve been trying to say this for most of the deflate controversy.

    Every team thru the history of the NFL is looking for an advantage and the ones that get caught get punished…as they should…

    How about Irvin basically perfecting the push off so as not to get caught?

    Deacon Jones with headslaps?

    The 70’s Raiders and Steelers?

    Think the Falcons are the first to pump in noise? If you do you’re wrong.

    The beauty of this league is based on stuff like deflategate…just keep it in perspective and don’t blow it way up. He looks like he’s making up opinions on the fly when in a 2 day span he can tell about how he cheated and then the next day chastise the Pat’s for cheating.

    I’d bet that if about 95% of players that aren’t just looking to overreact to this thought about the things they did/saw throughout thier careers they’d see a bunch of things that didn’t feel like cheating but to anyone else who saw it might think different.

  13. Rice**********************
    He should have kept his yapper shut instead of claiming “cheating” when it is now looking like the Pats are probably totally innocent. But now we do know that Rice was an admitted cheater. Thanks Jerry.

  14. Illegal stick-um is just as bad as allegedly deflating footballs. And this is what bothers me the most about the former players, coaches, and GM’s who are vocal about the Patriots issues with cheating.

    Shannon Sharpe: outspoken about the Patriots cheating, member of the Broncos teams that won two Super Bowls, teams that violated the salary cap and got caught, Broncos lost draft picks and received a $500,000 fine from the league.

    Jerry Rice: outspoken about the Patriots cheating, used illegal stick-um during his career, played for a hall of fame coach who has been accused of stealing signals and sabotaging communication systems to gain a competitive advantage.

    Former Panthers GM Marty Hurney: outspoken about the Patriots cheating, his 2003/2004 team which made it to the Super Bowl was involved in a major illegal drug investigation in which players were ordering PED’s through the mail. At least 5 starters from the Super Bowl team were using illegal PED’s but the drug use is rumored to have been rampant in the locker room and that the drug use was extreme.

  15. You can’t convince me the entire NFL doesn’t “try and get an edge” or cheat. The players do it, the coaches teach it. It’s about winning games and they do whatever they can to win. The goal is to be subtle about it so you don’t get caught.

    Everyone needs to stop digging around. The game cannot be 100% cheat-free because if you called all the fouls, the game would take too long and if you revealed all the things players & coaches did to get an edge, then it would affect the image of the game.

    So the Patriots got caught. Just fine them and move on. If anything, the NFL needs a standard penalty for this kind of stuff. That way we can avoid all this hoopla.

  16. I like that you’re hammering the oft overlooked aspect of “everybody cheats”. That doesn’t make it any less disappointing when you find that the teams or players you’re rooting for and supporting are cheating, but I think it helps to eliminate this “Super Bowl*” and “Best Ever*” crap that gets tossed around. Although no amount of analysis on the rampant state of cheating will stop haters from hating, it’s a start.

  17. Really? Back then everything “illegal” today was good to go. Frankly football sure was a lot more fun then too. Feel bad for the Seahawk fans, but not the players. They lost go home and learn from that. Go Pats!! See you next year, same time same place.

  18. So a better grip for him is just “getting an edge”
    but a better grip for the Pats is cheating? Pretty self-serving.

  19. Hypocrits. All these righteous players from yesterday calling out players of today for “gaining an advantage” illegally. Yet they did illegal things to gain an advantage.

  20. Rice isn’t the greatest WR of all time. He played with 2 HoF QB’s, and a Pro Bowl caliber Rich Gannon for 20 years! Rice was very good, and from a pure longevity standpoint, that’s what was amazing. No one says Emmitt is the best RB of all time because he ran behind one of the best olines, but everyone says Jerry is the best WR ever hands down completely disregarding the facts above? I don’t see the difference. If I could choose one WR for one game in their prime, I’m taking Randy Moss hands down. He affected the game like no WR ever has or ever will.

  21. SF 49ers Super Bowls are tainted. Now we have to put an asterisk by all those games. Damn!!! LOL!!!

  22. A lot of teams try to get an edge or cheat. Pats with their scandals, Jerry Rice using stickum (and he’s not the only one), Seattle with their pumped in crowed noise, along with the Falcons, the Saints and their cheating, the Panthers with their PEDS in 2003-2004, the Browns this year with their texting (don’t really know the purpose of that), the teams that violate the salary cap. Seems now a days you can’t players or teams who don’t try to do something. It’s sad, but they will do whatever it takes to win.

  23. So Montana deflated footballs, Rice used illegal stickup in order to make catches he normally wouldn’t be able to, the 49ers repeatedly violated the salary cap, turned off headset communication for the other team and the Patriots are cheaters????

  24. #glovegate , jerry rice is a douche bag, now it makes me wonder if he was really all that great or was it just those sticky ass gloves

  25. Minor surgery is when someone else is having surgery.

    Major surgery is when you need stitches for a paper cut.

    It’s the opposite with cheating.
    Damnation to everyone who drives 5 miles over the limit, but my hit and run, drunk driving was just a fluke, a faux pas to be forgiven and/or ignored.

  26. Niners:: its called a surveillance bias.

    These things have always been happening and quite likely were WORSe in the “good old days.”

    But now we have so much media 24-7 constantly looking for these things and making HUGE deals of them that the perception is that there is more of this.

  27. Stop it. You guys sound foolish. It’s apples and oranges. Everyone put stickum on their gloves. Jerry was leveling the playing field. Not everyone deflates balls (case in point – indys conformed). Jerry didn’t get a competitive advantage against one player – a db who probably had more stickum. On the other hand, the pats derived a competitive advantage AGAINST AN ENTIRE TEAM!

    Next thing you’re gonna tell me is that the steelers should have asterisks because those players took “greenies”? Keep digging yourselves deeper pats fans. You’re beggin’!

  28. What is it with these old guys that don’t have a gracious bone in their bodies.

    When I was growing up, if the other team or kid was beating you in a team sport or an individual match-up and you called them a cheater you would disgrace yourself, not them.

    Now, there is no shame in pointing fingers (even with the most inane accusations) or in blaming the refs.

  29. This is getting pathetic. How many of these “everyone’s doing it” articles do you guys think it will take until people no longer care that the patriots are consistent cheaters? Give it up and put the asterisk down.

  30. “A lot of teams try to get an edge or cheat. Pats with their scandals.”

    And people repeat nonsense like they are facts.

  31. Not cheating but deserving of an asterisk: It was Jerry Rice whose clear-cut fumble against the Packers in a 1998 NFC wild-card playoff game that set up Terrell Owens’ game-winning touchdown as time expired.

  32. megatronownsyou
    Feb 6, 2015, 8:45 AM EST
    The fact that Rice admits to cheating has absolutely nothing to do with and in no way justifies the Patriots cheating. You can come up with examples all day of other players or teams cheating but those examples are irrelevant to this situation. Quit trying sugarcoat the fact that this team cheated and has a known of history of cheating by comparing this situation to other, non comparable, situations.

    I think you’re missing the point here Mr Hawkins.

    He’s pointing out that Jerry Rice is a self righteous hypocrite. As are most former players with a legacy to protect.

  33. If the guys had today’s gloves 15 years ago nobody would have needed stickum.

    Today’s gloves are WAY more tacky than the ones Rice wore, regardless of what he may have sprayed on them.

  34. Every old player did something to “get an edge”. That’s why its so hypocritical when they run to the radio/tv stations to run their mouths about any scandal. The Patriots 15 year run of success bothers most players because of jealousy. Plain and simple.

  35. Rice new it was illegal t use stickum, NOT A LITTLE BIT ILLEGAL….therefore regardless of how much it helped him, the intent was to cheat…he is a cheater..end of story

  36. I hope PFT doesn’t let this sink off the front page, its already 2 from the bottom. Fans deserve to know Rice is a cheater.

  37. Bunch’a jealous, bitter old hypocrites who can’t take Tom Brady and the Patriots being just as good – or better – than they were.

  38. I tried to warn you guys that if you dig hard enough every great team in the NFL had “gamesmanship” going on, but your hatred of the Patriots is so intense that you barreled on ahead anyway. The great irony is that the Patriots appear entirely innocent of “deflategate” — while the Niners and Broncos have been taking it on the chin with everything from stickum to steroids to cap violations to headset games to coating linebackers in Vaseline. Let’s keep playing!


  39. So, we now know the 49ers screwed with the visiting teams communications system at the start of football games (per Parcells), had their WRs use stickum (per Rice), and cheated on their salary cap (per the NFL) to gain an edge while winning five Super Bowls.

    Could Montana, Rice and Haley be bigger hypocrites?

  40. (1) There is ZERO evidence that the Patriots deflated any footballs. The only ball that was substantially deflated was the ball in the Colts possession (though to be fair that just could be because it was the ball that was used the most that’s why it’s dangerous to speculate)

    (2) Rice admitted to doing this and YES it would be impactful but NO IT DOESNT MATTER. They all do stuff like this. For decades NFL teams and players have been pushing the line, but now we insist on taking these things out of context and manufacturing indignation.

    I file this under GAMESMANSHIP, which if you as a player or a team are not pushing the line to try to get every possible edge well then your foolish

  41. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, Colts frame Patriots by taking air out of one ball they intercept=Patriots worse than Pol Pot.

    Jerry Rice admits to cheating; world ignores it.

  42. The gloves Rice used WITH stickum are still less sticky than the gloves current receivers wear out of the box.

    The Patriots titles don’t have asterisks next to them. The Cowboys, 49ers, Steelers, Packers…whoever else’s titles don’t have asterisks next to them. All teams look to gain an edge, legal or illegal. “If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.”

    Rice is the greatest receiver to play the game. No asterisks, no hypocrisy, no footnotes, nothing. The GOAT.

  43. Where’s Charles Haley now? His Montana fixed his footballs, Rice used stickum. Haley’s 49ers rings are tainted. Funny stuff.

  44. Anyone who has ever used stickum knows it doesn’t take long for the effect to wear off. Dust or dirt from the ball, even oils from teammates hands, anything you touch gets on the stickum and glazes it over creating a false, more slick skin over your real skin. Reapply? Yes and with the same but diminishing returns. The best course would be to scrub it off and reapply which is impractical as you’d need to do it far more often than the 1 halftime. Don’t think it would be any different with gloves, except you couldn’t wash them.
    Stickum sucks.
    Was it against the rules and therefore cheating? yes. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck.

  45. I think the NFL should definitely be investigating the Colts if the only ball deflated was the one they had. But to be fair (and the Patriots were treated SO UNFAIRLY so I think we should be fair to the Colts), that may have been so because the ball was used the most, which would make sense.

  46. There is a form of “cheating”by players individually, and THEN there is PLANNED cheating by an ORGANIZATION——SPYGATE was a proven, organizational cheating scandal that totally smacks to the integrity of the game.

    That is common sense.

    Deflategate COULD be organizational…….that remains to be seen.

    Offensive players hold, so do DBs………they can/will/should be flagged for those types of “offenses”.

    ORGANIZATIONAL cheating such as SPYGATE, BOUNTYGATE, and possibly DEFLATEGATE is much more severe.

    NFL needs to get their investigation complete, so either the patriots get the hammer,or, get exonerated.

  47. This is what is ridiculous, the Patriots have not found to have done anything wrong in the PSI controversy. If they did then they can be judged. Now, Jerry Rice just said he cheated a little bit. Can’t be just a little pregnant,Jerry. It is or it isn’t in these situations.

  48. The story here isn’t that Rice is a liar, or a cheater or that his or the 49ers accomplishments are tainted. The story is simply that Rice is a hypocrite.

  49. If I could make one final point: After admitting on national television that he did something that is WAY WAY worse than anything the Patriots ever did and then manufacturing indignation over the Patriots who from what we now know likely did nothing in deflategate.

    It really just shows that many of these guys are just NOT THAT BRIGHT.

    I’m sorry but who would be so stupid?

  50. Brady, Belichick and Kraft are losing ZERO sleep over internet trolls and retired athletes calling them cheaters. The only people losing sleep are Pats fans who feel it’s their duty to defend them. Ignore the comments, enjoy the win.

  51. IF Rice used stickum.. he’s just one guy, the entire patriots organization cheats.. and it starts at the top with Bill Belicheat.

    Rice using stickum, didn’t help Montana or Young throw more accurate passes, and it didnt help his teammates catch the ball any better.

    Deflating the ball makes it easier to throw, easier catch and easier to carry without fumbling. And before some lunkhead says “We’ll the Colts used the same balls.” No they didn’t. The Pats’ offense uses one set of ball, and the Colts used another set.. that’s why it’s cheating.

    We can all agree the Pats could have used a beachball to beat the Colts, the fact is they felt they had to cheat to win, and I doubt the two times they were busted, were the only times they’ve cheated!

  52. the commenters that bring it back to the pats cheating are truly pathetic. grasping at anything they can.

    this article is clearly about rice being an enormous hypocrite. nothing more and nothing less.

    you actually hurt your argument exponentially and make you look profoundly desperate to try and make the pats into cheaters.

    and no, bill belichick, tom brady, robert kraft, and pats nation don’t care at all about internet trolls yelling for imaginary asterisks. grow up.

  53. This is the exact thing Patriot fans have been saying for approaching three weeks. I think it does bother Brady when people like Montana, Rice, etc. question his integrity. This to me really gives backing to the Boston cry of “They hate us, cause they ain’t us”.

    This was a day before Deflategate started. A Day. And no one cared. One of the best football players of all time admits to cheating, laughs about cheating and no one says anything. There is very circumstantial evidence that the Patriots may have cheated and now the media just goes crazy.

  54. sixaceduece says:
    Feb 6, 2015 10:03 AM


    I hope you enjoyed watching the Patriots celebrate yet another title down the streets of Boston. Face it, the Patriots are better than your team.

  55. Unlike the Pats in Spygate where they tried to exploit a lopphole in a poorly worded memo from Goodell, and in Deflategate where latest report is vindicating them (go read Ian Rapport’s report on SuperBowl Sunday from NFL.com, the NFL’s own network)…JERRY RICE ADMITTED TO CHEATING, WHICH ALLOWED HIM TO CATCH THE BALL BETTER AND MEANS MONATNA AND HALEY’S RINGS ARE ALL TAINTED BECAUSE…..just saying POINTBLANK, Jerry Rice is a CHEATER and VERY, VERY, VERY, STUPID

  56. My opinion of Jerry Rice (which was very high, he was the greatest) has now changed. Hearing him say he cheated really makes me stop and think about his legacy. Maybe the league needs to take away some of his records and the 49ers SB wins when he was on the team.

  57. Who cares, as a Pats fan, I think this is just as stupid as deflategate, spygate, bounty gate etc…

    Mark Cuban was right, NFL is on it’s way down!!

  58. Did the commenters actually watch the video?

    1. Jerry rice is obviously talking about how people would say that stickum might be a little illegal, but they should use it, etc.

    I’m not saying he never used it, but in that interview he is talking about what someone else said, not himself. (and please don’t accuse me of being a Rice of 49er fan, I just pay attention!) I don’t think he cheated much if at all, stickum was a widely used help in cold weather for most teams in the NFL back in the day. It was only banned in the 80’s and used before that as allowable. the show talks about when the ban on stickum happened in the 80’s the gloves started to be made. I had Neumanns and they had tack to the glove already just like today’s gloves do. Pay attention, this is not Jerry Rice saying He cheated, it’s Rice and Lofton saying that the gloves of today are even better than any stickum people in the past used!!!!

    2. People will always look for ways to have an advantage. In the Pats case (I hate the Pats and Brady) the only thing they are guilty of is not admitting to the slight cheat. Other than that they stopped the colts with their perfectly inflated balls to just 7 points and took it to them the entire game.

  59. What Rice accomplished in his great career was probably about 99.99999999999999% talent and work ethic, and the rest belongs to stickum. The same can be said for the Patriots and we don’t even know if they actually did tamper with the game balls.

    But since Rice has been such a baby and a hypocrite any time anyone else has even come within a mile of his records and accomplishments I’d just like to say… CHEATER CHEATER CHEATER!!!!!! FORFEIT YOUR RINGS AND EAT AN ASTERISK!!!!

  60. Looks like Haley stuck both foot in his mouth. He played two years with Rice, so he knew about the Stickum used by Rice. So since you have lost faith with Tom, “guilty until proven innocent”, looks like you should also lose faith with Montana also since Rice’s cheating greatly places a bad smell on your two Rings.

  61. Typical stuff. When I do it, it’s “a little against the rules,” but it’s OK because everyone else is doing it, and it’s not a big deal. But when the Patriots do it, it’s blatant cheating and they deserve to be punished. In fact, I think we should dismantle the franchise, burn the stadium, and throw the QB, coach, and owner in jail for the rest of their lives.

  62. I usually ignore the former NFL players who complain that the Patriots are cheaters because most of them have an agenda. And Jerry Rice is as big a loud mouth as there is in that group saying the Patriots titles are tainted. Now the world knows that Rice cheated and to be honest I have always thought he was the best wide receiver ever, but now I have to wonder. How good would players like Randy Moss or Terrell Owens have been if they used the same glue on their hands that Rice used? And we have to now assume all the 49ers used stickem IMO.

  63. It’s usually sad when you see an old time great see someone come close or exceeding what they were able to do and the bitterness starts to creap out.

    I’m from Miami and a Dolphin fan, but every time I hear about the ’72 team speak (and non of them would be on a team today, too small, too slow, too weak) about their greatness, or pop their champagne when the last team looses and even when I heard Shula call Belichick Beli-cheat I lost respect for him.

    Jerry Rice WAS a great player, but now we know that he also cheated (every game he played?) and easily becomes a hypocrite to defend is records and achievements.

    It’s not just football. Kareem blows a gasket every time someone is honored on the Lakers before him. Remember Statue(gate)? A muslim player who according to their religion is against any depiction of any living thing, demanded that the Lakers build a statue to honor him.

    At some point we would be better off not listening to these former players at all. Because their ego clouds their vision.

  64. “Multiple readers (presumably Patriots fans) have sent in recent days to PFT a link to a video published by ESPN on January 17, 2015 regarding the evolution of gloves. ”

    Something tells me Chris Carter blew up the PFT email box with the clip……………

  65. Hmm! Let’s see: Steve Largent had most of the receiving records until Jerry Rice broke most of them. Largent had Jim Zorn & Dave Krieg throwing to him on barely competitive Seahawks teams. He played for 13 years. Rice had Joe Montana and the 49r’s Superbowl teams and played for 19 years – Oh! And the help of “stickum”. So WHO is the NFL’s Greatest Receiver?

  66. There’s no proof the Pats deflated footballs as of now, only a report from Mortensen that ESPN refuses to acknowledge as disputed by Ian Rapaport and even PFT.
    As for asterisks, crazy that Rice would not recognize what he just did there. He doesn’t seem to be the sharpest light bulb in the tool shed.

  67. What someone or some other team may or may not have done in the past…. does not eliminate the “fact” that the Patriots underinflated their footballs….. on purpose. That seems to be a clear violation of the rules. When is the last time the “well… Bobby gets to do it… why can’t I” argument worked… that’s right… it didn’t. Cheating is still cheating…. and in the case of both Super Bowl contestants…. they are verified rule breakers…. guess that means…. cheaters win.

  68. what is the big deal about deflate gate, remeber at halftime the balls were back to normal pressure and the Pats scored more points. so they would have won the game anyway. the deflated balls didnt help them win. they would have won anyway

  69. Why is no one talking about the fact that it was shown a few days ago that only 1 ball was 2 psi below the minimum and all 11 other balls were “just a tick under” and can be explained easily by atmospheric changes. This does not mean that it is the reason they were under and isn’t saying the Patriots didn’t underinflate, but it offers a viable excuse that the league will have a tough time saying otherwise. Is it not a little suspicious that the only ball with a marginal effect under the psi is the ball that was intercepted? Shouldn’t there be more conspiracy theories about that? If only one ball is under the psi, couldn’t the Colts have let more air out and submitted it making it roughly 2psi short?

  70. Maybe now, everyone and their mother can stop using The Patriots as whipping boys for everything from deflating footballs to going 50 mph in a 35 mph zone.

  71. bosb88 says: Feb 6, 2015 11:56 AM

    Makes you wonder why his comments on this has not been a bigger story……..

    That’s easy. He didn’t play for the Patriots.

  72. It is great watching the old 49ers shoot themselves in the leg. Please guys, keep talking about cheating and how an “*” should be applied to things. All of a sudden Jerry Rice and those 49er teams, whom also cheated by ways of IR and salary cap manipulation, don’t seem so mighty.

    Not so funny anymore, huh?

  73. This better be mentioned in the “experts” discussion of Montana v. Brady when they bring up PSI!!

  74. Look up hypocrite and there is Jerry Rice’s picture! I love Jerry Rice, but that is just as stupid as it comes. You admit to cheating and something that is clearly defined as a suspendable offense.

  75. IF YOU’RE NOT CHEATING YOU’RE NOT TRYING. Sorry to hurt your sensitive sensibilities, but this applies to every profession, not just sports. Everyone colors outside the line a little, to get a little edge, and successful and talented people tend to ALSO be very competitive, and very driven, and self-motivated. Being self motivated means you’re doing it not just for the paycheck, you’re doing it out of pride. So yes, you’ll cheat a little. In terms of the NFL this exists of course with every team, it’s just that the Patriots for some reason are the always on the whipping post. If it’s not deflategate it will be something else they’ll be hated for. It’s politically correct, in a way, to hate them, thus leading to the longevity of these stories.

  76. Based on what I remember, this sounds like it was in the era when gloves wee just beginning to come into vogue. I don’t believe the NFL had any rules regarding that. The finally drew up some rules that were very much like what in place today. Professional athletes will push the envelope to get an edge until the sports draws up rules to govern what they can and cant do. Rice’s admission doesn’t surprise me much.

    PS For all you Patriot haters— there is NO hard evidence that anyone deflated footballs. The ONLY fact were know for sure is that the balls deflate. No who, what, when, where. Until and unless some evidence is found, then any accusation is based solely in speculation and supposition! And remember, if the bales were inflated to the minimum standards, they could well nave deflated 102 psi when brought out in the weather.

  77. DUH, its not cheating unless the Patriots do it.

    Steroids and adderal? Who cares.
    Aaron Rodgers over inflates the football? commentators laugh over it
    Jerry Rice uses Stickum? Not a word about it.
    9’ers and the Broncos skirt salary cap? No one remembers

  78. Yes, footballs only deflate on one side of the field! Amazing how some try to cover up facts. Balls normal, balls at half time down air. BUT Nature only did it to one side of the field. Go figure!

  79. This is why no fan should jump on a bandwagon claiming “my” team always won fair and square but “your” team cheated. The NFL is not a haven for angels, and even the best among us have erred at some point. As for Rice … what a hypocrite.

  80. We all love to point fingers, then justify our own actions. Jerry Rice: remember that when you point a finger at others, there are three fingers pointing back at you…

  81. “Rice still would’ve been the greatest receiver of all-time (“with or without the stickum)?” This genuflect to Jerry, right on heels of his hypocritical slam of the Patriots? Don’t burn any bridges, eh, Mike? Oy vey.

  82. Former players really should know that when asked their opinions they should keep their traps shut because with the internet these days, people can find out all sorts of dirt. First you have Charles Haley running his mouth, Joe Montana running his, now Rice. All who have “cheated” in some way or another. Then you have guys like Elway who only won his SB rings because the Bronco’s cheated on the salary cap the two seasons they won the SB. I’m sure you wont’ see these stories about Rice and others on ESPN. ESPN is a pathetic sports network that really has become the CNN of the sports news. At least PFT isn’t afraid to post these things.

  83. Should definitely be some astericks next to any of the SBs that Rice played in. Also the two late 90s SBs of the Bronco’s should also have astericks. As shoudl the roid SBs of the Raiders and pretty much any other 70s team that won.

  84. “Stickum or these new gloves they wear, what is the difference, nothing!”

    Gloves are legal, stickum, when Rice admits to using it, was illegal. Big difference.

  85. “thetruth146 says:Feb 6, 2015 10:04 AM

    the commenters that bring it back to the pats cheating are truly pathetic. grasping at anything they can.”

    From the article:

    “Now that football season officially is over, Patriots fans can spend more time scouring the Internet for links and videos to support the notion, aspreviously articulated by PFT, that cheating in the NFL extends far beyond New England.”

    Blame the author for people bringing up the Pats, because the author keeps trying to use these other examples to excuse the Pats.

    The commenters that blame the readers are truly illiterate.

    “DennisT says:Feb 6, 2015 9:24 AM

    (1) There is ZERO evidence that the Patriots deflated any footballs. The only ball that was substantially deflated was the ball in the Colts possession (though to be fair that just could be because it was the ball that was used the most that’s why it’s dangerous to speculate)”

    Where do you apologists get this “zero evidence” and “only one ball” nonsense from? All but one were underinflated. None of the Colts balls were underinflated. Why do you hate logic and facts so much?

  86. khuxford apparently you don’t read much. Another person ready to jump before they look.

    First, at a press conference last Thursday in Phoenix, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino spilled the beans that the PSI of the 12 Patriots footballs were never recorded by referee Walt Anderson. Blandino said that balls were measured, and if they were under the low threshold of 12.5, they were simply pumped up with some air. So instantly, the report by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that said 11 of the 12 footballs were a full 2 PSI under the threshold was essentially debunked. How could Mortensen have that information if nobody could have that information? (The answer, of course, is that a source who desperately wanted such misinformation out there gave him the “scoop.”)
    Secondly, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the morning of the Super Bowl that just one of the 11 footballs was 2 PSI under the limit, while the other 10 were “just a tick” under the 12.5 threshold. Rapoport’s report was crucial for a number of reasons. For one, he is paid by the NFL, and so he can’t afford to be wrong. If his report, which makes Roger Goodell’s bloodthirsty office look like a bunch of clowns, turns out to be wrong, how much longer would the league keep him on the payroll? Second, the phrasing of the footballs of being “just a tick” under the limit is at once believable, because that’s how non-technical measurements would be recorded, and also because footballs which were originally inflated near the lower limit would likely lose some air pressure after two hours outside in January.

  87. “might be a little illegal”?

    Let’s see, screwing with the communications system of opponents, stashing players on IR, using stickum (how many clutch catches did this guy make because of this cheating?), owner banned from the league for mob ties.

    Every title the 49ers won is tainted.

  88. khuxford says: Feb 6, 2015 1:34 PM

    Where do you apologists get this “zero evidence” and “only one ball” nonsense from? All but one were underinflated. None of the Colts balls were underinflated. Why do you hate logic and facts so much?

    There may or may not be evidence, nothing official has been made public. Funny that you criticize people for hating facts, yet quote 1 unconfirmed source (that has been refuted) as the truth.

  89. Trent Dilfer made a good point to Steve Young about the 49ers cheating the salary cap with players on IR.

    49ers *
    Jerry Rice *
    Joe Montana *
    Steve Young *

  90. Deflagate is looking more and more like an opportunity to destabilize the Pats before the superbowl. It’s another false allegation, just like them videotaping the whole of the Rams walkhrough, but the damage to their reputation is already done. Sure, it’ll eventually be retracted, but this investigation should never have been leaked before the superbowl. It tried to make the Pats sound like cheaters and makes the NFL look foolish. I’ve been a supporter of Goodall until now because I don’t believe anyone else will be any better, but this was just plain stupidity. No surprise that Rice used stickum, loads of players have cheated throughout the years.

  91. So Jerry Rice complains about the gloves ODB uses and the deflate gate crap and then it turns out he’s been using stickum for years? What a hypocrite.

  92. Empirebks: “he is paid by the NFL, so he can’t afford to be wrong”

    Funniest thing I’ve read in ages. He cites statistics of the same item you said Mortensen can’t have statistics of because they don’t exist.

    What you now have is two employees of an organizational that destroyed evidence of the last documented Pats cheating with a vested interest in putting this behind them openly contradicting each other.

    I can read. I can, also, comprehend, dunce.

  93. “Deb says:
    Feb 6, 2015 12:59 PM
    This is why no fan should jump on a bandwagon claiming “my” team always won fair and square but “your” team cheated. The NFL is not a haven for angels, and even the best among us have erred at some point. As for Rice* … what a hypocrite”

    As usual, you make complete sense.

    I have lost a lot of respect for Rice*, Aikman*, Young*, Montana* et al, not for their obvious cheating but for their casting of aspersions towards Brady, Belichick, and the Pats before any report has even been issued.

    It comes down to a simple archaic phrase: Let he among you without sin cast the first stone.

    New England Patriots****

    ****May your jealousy drive you mad.

  94. ASTERISK * for Jerry Rice, the cheating HYPOCRITE.

    Should have kept your mouth closed and have people think you are legit, than open it and remove all doubt that you are a FRAUD when it comes to character.

  95. *organization

    Before you try to slam me for predictive text screwing up my sentence.

    And, kenmaster, how are you posting on anew article you claim was pulled off the site? The stupid is strong with some people.

  96. Khuxford, Florio on this site basically had same report Rapport did, so is he in on the coverup too? or is Mortensen being used by someone who wants misinformation out there? Remember how “right” Mort was on the Ray Rice incident…”his sources told him Ray was defnding himself, he pushed her and she hit her head”…Mortensen is a joke.

    schfeter was on WEEI in Boston today and when asked about this angle of Colts deflating that one ball (other were only tick under) Schefter said “quite a few people in the league he has spoken to think it is possible the Colts are guilty here”

  97. Khuxford you point is correct. I shouldn’t jump in 100% behind the report that only one ball (the one the Colts handled) is the true story but that’s the point. How do you go all in the Patriots cheated when there has been zero evidence. And don’t say there isn’t zero evidence because you can find a guy who says the balls were under-inflated because I can find a guy who says they weren’t.

  98. empirebks,

    Difference is there are 2 reports that only one ball was significantly deflated. Mike Florio on this site reported a week before Rapport, only Florio said the other balls were closer to maybe 1PSI off, then Rapport came out saying the other balls were a “tick” below.

    So I have Rapport, who works for NFL’s owned network and as others have pointed out can not afford to be wrong, and Florio who breaks a lot of stories. versus Chris Mortensen who has been radio silent his initial report…and let’s not forget Mort is also the guy who said his “reliable sources” told him Ray Rice was defnding himself and slightly pushed his fiancé away and she stumbled and hit her head”….hmmmm, I’ll take Florio and Rapport vs Mortensen any day

  99. Empirebks, we have actual consensus that all 11 were below the legal limit. We have a dispute as to whether more than one was drastic. You say Blandford suggested there was no recorded measurement, while Rapport seems to contradict that by telling you approximately how much 10 of them were deflated.

    They replaced all the balls. Hood ie played Mr. Wizard for 1 out of 12 balls? That one could wind up so significantly under when no Colts ball was already would be a concern. If the only ball significantly under is the one they used, it doesn’t even help the argument in favor of the Pats (it’d have to be one they didn’t use). So please don’t confuse my engaging in an argument over those particulars as giving any weight to the distinction, but that it is as weak as it is irrelevant.

    The point stands that ALL 11 were under. Stating only one was, when only the degree to which they were is in question, is fallacious.

  100. I wrote a post on this just three days ago, timing is pretty ironic. here is the post. Now, maybe we can get on with actually playing football rather than these ridiculous asterisks and cheating claims.

    “I read a comment to one of these articles that kind of made me laugh. It said “None of what the steelers, raiders, and 49ers did was considered cheating in their days. What the pats did was considered cheating”. It kind of admits to the wild wild west of cheating when it was a wink-wink, that’s part of the game. It shows how much society has changed with obsessive social media and reporters obsessed with the latest sensational story angle. It also raises a larger issue.

    Time and time again, you hear people say “you can’t defend the Pats by the fact that everyone else cheats in some way”. I tend to agree with that, being guilty doesn’t require someone else to be innocent. Fair enough, but why aren’t other teams called “cheaters” for their indiscretions? Why not just punish the Pats like you would any other team. Is there really something inherently worse about an activity that other coaches have said was commonplace: filming signals that take place in plain view of everyone on the field and in the stands?. Is it more wrong than taking steriods, violating salary caps, using stickum, using silicone spray, using illegal headgear communications from coaches to players, placing bounties on players, faking injuries on the field, piping noise into the stadium so it is difficult to audible, fixing games, betting on games, texting info to coaches from press booth, etc? Btw, those are all actual items that teams/players have been/are being sanctioned for and/or publicly admitted to doing.

    I see only two differences: (1) that the news media took hold of Spygate because it made for sensational, crime-novel-like storytelling (even had the word spy in it) and (2) people were sick of the Pats winning everything and we love to take winners off the pedestal.

    So, it doesn’t matter that most teams have had some sort of sanction or violation, go ahead, call the Pats “cheaters” if they violated a rule. Just remember something. If you are saying it in disgust while rooting for another NFL team, then you are probably a hypocrite – and that may be one character flaw worse than being a rule breaker.


    Jesus Christ nobody cares. Can we focus on the actual games and stop gossiping like a sewing circle?

  102. Pdw, you don’t seem to realizability that 1 psi under the limit isn’t negligible, which means Florio backs up Mort more than he backs up Rapport, right?

    Reading is fundamental. Comprehension, apparently…not so much.

  103. “ORGANIZATIONAL cheating such as SPYGATE, BOUNTYGATE, and possibly DEFLATEGATE is much more severe.”

    Oh no you don’t. All you Pats haters have claimed the tiniest blink by the Pats no matter what is “cheating” and virtually every one of you has been zero tolerance about it.

    Now it comes out that a player you like “cheated” and somehow you’re no longer zero tolerance ?

    You, like Rice, are a hypocrite.

    And fyi, sideline taping was not illegal prior to the 2007 season. The one game you can claim the Pats did something illegal was the first game of 2007, after which the tore a hole through the league. So no, spygate was neither illegal except for the one game at the end, or anything that “taints” the Pats accomplishments, or anything that qualified as “cheating” prior to 2007.

  104. What the he’ll is “realizability” and why is Samsung predicting it in place of realize?!?

  105. Why write an article about Jerry Rice allegedly using stick’em and then post a photo of the Raiders’ Lester Hayes?

    BTW: Hayes didn’t break the rule. The rule was created because of his, and others, use of pine tar back in the 1970s.

  106. Why are so many missing the point?

    What does Jerry’s cheating have to do with the Pats cheating?

    So someone else in your town broke and entered and stole some things.

    Then you do it and get caught. Are you going to tell the judge that someone else did it too? The judge would say who cares, this case is about YOU.

    Fine, so some think Jerry’s numbers should get an asterisk.

    Whether they should or shouldn’t has zero bearing on what the Pats did.

    Just because someone else does something doesn’t mean it cancels out if others do it too.

    So, Jerry’s cheating has nothing to do with the Pats cheating.

  107. Certainty they were light, it was friggin cold out there. If the Colts’ footballs were legal after the game ( on the field ) then those footballs musta been OVER inflated beforehand . High school science

  108. SO Amazing that the media process allows folks to foot foot in mouth. . . .especially the ones that accuse Brady and the Patriots when they admit they cheat or are part of the whole cheating process.

  109. “With or without the stickum or the gloves, Rice still would have been the greatest receiver of all time.”

    Lance Armstrong and Barry Bonds say hello.

  110. He Jealous lol, he sucks on TV anyway, his contributions seem unnatural and forced, a better Emmit Smith but not by much. I haven’t watched a pregame show in years, hope he has improved. I have my doubts.

  111. Super Bowl XXIII*
    Super Bowl XXIV*
    Super Bowl XXIX*

    (In tears) What a horrible person Jerry Rice is.

    He has absolutely no integrity or respect for the game of football.

    Whenever his “accomplishments” are mentioned from now on, they will be forever tainted with the foul stench of STICKEM-GATE.

    (How’d I do, Mark Brunell?)

  112. Maybe I’m picking nits but nowhere in that quote does Rice directly say that he cheated by using stickum.

  113. khuxford Some interesting points about the footballs but I’m not sure they matter much. You say the Pats used the alleged the ball deflated 2 PSI only works against the Pats. But that’s the one ball that the Colts had their hands on and left the possession of all the officials. Should we assume they deflated it? As likely as the Pats did. The only difference between that one and the others is that’s the only one the Colts got their hands on. And even if 11 of the balls were less than the minimum at half time doesn’t mean much as it still might be that the balls were underflated at the start of the game. There is no record of them having ever been checked and as far as I know no official has come forward and said he tested them with a gauge and they were fine before kick off. You easily confuse fact with conjecture.

  114. niners816 says: “A lot of teams try to get an edge or cheat. Pats with their scandals, Jerry Rice using stickum (and he’s not the only one), Seattle with their pumped in crowed noise.”
    Where’d you get the last one? I assume you’ve never been to a game in Seattle, where the stadium was designed to accent the crowd noise (fair or not, there’s no need for the “pumped-in” noise that whiner fans keep crying about.
    On the other hand, maybe you should think about pumping some noise into the new digs in Santa Clara, to diminish the echoes when most of the fans leave by halfway through the fourth quarter.

  115. Given Rice’s central role in the 49’er offence, and how much more stick-um of an advantage would be than a slightly deflated football, we must put an asterisk by the 49’er Super Bowl wins, right?

  116. By the way, what does it take for Florio to pin this story to the front page? It’s disgraceful that it’s been allowed to disappear so quickly considering it’s by far their most retweeted story of the day.

  117. Jerry Rice should have an asterisk next to all his record number of catches in the NFL, stating he cheated when he made all those catches from Joe Montana. This should drop him down the list a few pegs as the all-time best receiver and maybe out of the NFL HOF!!!

  118. Man allot of New England trolls handing thumbs up to the other trolls….
    Cheaters and pats have been doing anything they can to bend the rules for years and years.

  119. Khuxford, do you have a serious learning disability? You claim you go by facts, but you have so many facts wrong. You mention they switched out the balls. no! They did not, they inflated the balls up to at least 12.5, but again because NFL did not log any numbers we have no idea how much they inflated and to what PSI.

    Next you keep hopping on the Colts balls. If Colts balls were inflated pregame to the max level of 13.5 or more then dropping close to 1PSI would still be in range. But again we have no idea because the PSI #s were never logged.

    Finally do yourself a a or and go read the articles from Carnegie Mellon (in Pitt), MIT and Columbia where they actually did the test Of inflating in a room at 75 degrees, then wetting the ball (bc wet leather expands allowing for decrease PSI also) then putting in a 50 degree room… ALL the balls they tested ripped on average of 1lb of PSI….so again, get a clue, learn the facts…thanks for playing!!!

  120. Now that Rice has come out and said this, it makes his comments a few days later and what Charles Haley said the other day laughable.

  121. Jerry Rice* was little more than the Cal Ripken of the NFL. I’d take Prime Moss over Prime Rice* ten times out of ten. Especially if Rice* is without his precious Stickum.

    * Admitted Cheater

  122. Gee, I wonder what gives more of an advantage: 1 PSI out of a football, or practically HAVING GLUE ON YOUR HANDS. Blows my mind that this guy would ever call anyone else a cheater and use the word ‘asterisk’. Funny thing is, this isn’t even the first time he’s admitted it, the only difference now is social media and every troll having their own megaphone and every pundit needing to out-click-bait each other for that precious ad money. Welcome to what your career would have been like in the 2010’s, Jerry. No one gets out untainted, apparently.

  123. I’m guessing there are a lot of Patriot fans providing thumbs up to the idea that Rice and the 49ers should now have an * next to their wins. Since most of the anti Patriot posts have significant thumbs down.

    Which would be another form of hypocrisy.

  124. I’d sooner have Pete Rose in the HOF than this cheater.

    What can be worse than a pass catcher who cheats in order to catch passes better? No mystery, no unknowns. The guy put glue on his hands. Now go back and watch a Rice highlight reel and tell me that he could have made those catches without cheating. In his early career he dropped a ton of passes, and then all of a sudden he seemed to develop hands like glue? Hmmm. I wonder how?

  125. Every team in the PED era should get an asterisk, starting in the late 60’s/early 70’s when steroids were engulfing the NFL. You’re naive if you think only a few teams have broken rules… No mention of the Falcons “cheating” for two years, while creating artificial noise in their stadium… Why not? Because they suck. Get over it; the Patriots won the Super Bowl.

    Rice and Haley should shut up, though (and I’m a 49ers fan).

  126. Man this is super weird….Jerry Rice cheated so now the Patriots cheating is ok? Did I get that right? That’s just laughable. Seriously what happened to the integrity of the game?

    So can we say Barry Bonds and Lance Armstrong get passes because other people were cheating in their sport too?

    Seriously I don’t care if you’re the Pats, Jerry Rice or even Bill Clinton, if you cheat and get caught you have to pay the consequences for your actions.

    Fine the Pats and take a “meaningful” draft pick. This should be the punishment for any team violation.

  127. I view Rice as the Sherman of wide receivers and Moss as the Deion. Sure Sherman is a hell of a player, but Deion was just a freak of nature. Same applies for Moss in comparison to Rice. He has abilities that Rice just doesn’t have. Go ahead and talk about your numbers all you want, but having two HOF qbs throwing to you surely helps.

  128. A little illegal? One cannot become a little bit pregnant, Jerry. You broke the rules and now your legacy, at least in my eyes, has become tainted.

  129. Another HOF cheater coming out of the closet.

    No wonder Joe Montana never threw an interception in the SB’s. His receivers used stickum.

  130. So all the people ranting that the Patriots cheated get their just desert.

    There is not a team or player in the NFL that has not broken the rules = CHEATED.

    Wake up jealous haters!

  131. Just wanted to make sure to emphasize the point that both Fred Biletnikoff and Lester Hayes were completely within the rules with their use of “stickum”. They did NOT cheat. Some others didn’t like it, but they still had the exact same opportunity to enhance their ability to catch.

    Didn’t dissuade the HOF committee from advancing Freddie B into the Hall. Lester continues to deserve serious consideration.

  132. “With or without the stickum or the gloves, Rice still would have been the greatest receiver of all time.”


    Uhhh he just admitted to cheating. How can we know he didn’t put stickum on his gloves EVERY game? Maybe he just wasn’t as good as we thought?

  133. So disappointing. I absolutely see stick-um as cheating. Adjusting the air pressure to what a qb likes? Not so much. Is it breaking the rules? Yes. But that doesn’t always mean they are cheating.

    Open mouth, insert foot, Jerry.

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