With Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice applying an asterisk to New England’s latest Super Bowl win, Patriots fans will now apply 1,549 asterisks to Jerry Rice’s career achievements.
On Friday, PFT pointed out (at the behest of multiple Patriots fans) a recent admission from Rice that he applied stickum to 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 with a laugh as part of an ESPN feature regarding the evolution of gloves.
At a time when many were expecting Rice to claim that his words were taken out of context or that he was joking, Rice has taken to Twitter to admit that he did it, and that it was more than “a little illegal.”
“I apologize ppl after doing my research about stickum!,” Rice said. “The NFL banned this in 1981. All players did it! #equalplayingfield.”
The banishment of stickum sparked the increased use of gloves. Rice, who was drafted by the 49ers four years after stickum became an illegal substance, enhanced the gloves with stickum.
“I’m going to be point blank, I feel like it’s cheating,” Rice told Jim Rome on January 22 regarding the current controversy regarding whether the Patriots deflated footballs. “Because you have an edge up on your opponent and it’s 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.”
By claiming that “All players did it!” regarding stickum use, Rice is trying to create the impression that he didn’t have an edge. Regardless, it’s now clear that the greatest receiver of all time cheated — and it’s hard not to wonder whether Rice discovered the glove-stickum combo at some point during a rocky rookie season that featured nearly enough drops to get him benched.
Indeed, Rice at one point in 1985 ditched his glove and went back to catching footballs bare-handed.
“I had to get back to my hands,” Rice said in 1985, from a 2006 item by Mike Tanier of FootballOutsiders.com. “My hands got me here.”
At some point, Rice got back to his gloves. And he started putting stickum on them. And his gloves with stickum helped get him to Canton.