Rice joked about using stickum in 1993


Jerry Rice found himself caught in the quicksand of stickum after he followed comments to ESPN about applying it to his gloves by acknowledging that he’d done research, that he learned stickum indeed was outlawed in 1981, and that it’s OK because everyone does it.

Our invitation to the audience to send in evidence of other receivers admitting to or denying the use of stickum resulted in the submission of a link to a 1993 article in the Los Angeles Times following a 49ers win over the Rams. During the game, Rice made a one-handed catch for a 48-yard gain.

After the game, reporters asked how he did it.

I had stickum on my glove,” Rice said. “That’s a joke,” he quickly added, “stickum is illegal.”

So he knew darn well during his career that it was illegal, and he has plainly admitted after his career that he used it.

In hindsight, maybe Rice wasn’t joking in 1993. And to those who insist it’s not a big deal, keep in mind that Rice had a hard time catching the football when he was a rookie. If he never applied stickum to his gloves, maybe Jerry Rice never would have become Jerry Rice.

The issue definitely never would have been an issue if Rice hadn’t declared the Patriots’ eventual Super Bowl victory tarnished by #DeflateGate, and if Rice hadn’t told ESPN that he used to put stickum on his gloves.

125 responses to “Rice joked about using stickum in 1993

  1. I lost a lot of respect for him. It all began with the mini dreads. Then having his teammates take the blame for the massage parlor….

  2. Jerry Rice had a notable drop problem as a rookie. It suddenly went away when he started using stickum. Stickum is an adhesive that was specifically used by players to help them catch the ball (when it wasn’t illegal). It was banned by the NFL in 1981. Jerry Rice didn’t enter the NFL until 1985. Rice’s whole career is an asterisk-tainted lie.

  3. Come on, man. I’m a Patriots fan, and I’m not crazy about Rice for what he’s said about the Pats. But you’re reaching, here. Maybe he was kidding in 1993. Maybe he used stickum. We don’t know, so don’t go and ruin a man’s reputation when you don’t have any evidence.

  4. What an idiot. He who lives in a glass house shouldn’t throw stones.

    I was pretty much indifferent to Jerry Rice up until all this started. Respected his career and record but wasn’t a big fan.

    Don’t see how anyone can talk about his records without an asterisk. And if they do, someone else will chime in about stickum and they wouldn’t be wrong. Dude admitted to it himself.

  5. It’s never a big deal unless the Patriots are involved. How about the use of silicone or gel on uniforms? How about the fact that ESPN pulled the sports science episode on deflatgate? Why would you do that? The patriots are guilty of doing what every other team in the league does and that’s trying to find a loophole to give them an edge and if you don’t think your teams doing it get a clue!

  6. After Rice so graciously got caught with his pants down his ankles in a blatant admittance about his secret use of a banned substance, good luck finding any other receiver (or defensive back for that matter) claim that they also used stickum during their playing days.

    JR is alone in a self created island, looking like a fool, a cheater and a hypocrite, his legacy and records tainted and labeled with the same asterisks he so eagerly applied to anything the Patriots accomplished.

  7. Apparently it wasn’t a joke after all was it Jerry??

    Jerry Rice*
    Pro Football Hall Of Fame
    Canton, OH

    Or do asterisks only apply to the Patriots Jerry?

  8. Who cares? Let it go. I understand its slow in the NFL world right now, but rehashing something that no once cared about in the 1st place is just stupid. Let’s talk about something else, like tampering.

  9. Just to demonstrate how much fan jealousy fuels the “asterisk” talk of the Patriots, bear in mind that there is yet NO EVIDENCE that has tied the Patriots to the loss of what is reportedly a 1 lb loss in PSI

    Indeed the Colts themselves may be found to have deflated the ball

    1 lb PSI also gives a questionable advantage as well – as proven by Brady’s improved performance with fully inflated balls

    Meanwhile Jerry Rice has ADMITTED cheating with relatively little outrage among those same fans

    For those fans jealous of the Patriots, an unproven allegation appears worse than an actual ADMISSION of cheating by the 49ers

    Meanwhile such fans are so blinded by jealousy they can’t even SPELL “asterisk” let alone grasp the logic that violating a new 2006 rule in 2007 in no way attaches an asterisk to Super Bowls in 2001-2004 BEFORE THE RULE EXISTED

  10. As a Ram fan I’d love to destroy a Niner’s legacy but stickem doesn’t explain why this man was always open by five yards. This is nothing but a lesson to former players. No matter how big you think you are, don’t run your mouth and think you are above reproach. The media today will turn on you in a heartbeat.

  11. Maybe he used it and maybe he didn’t. Not a lot that can be gained now by making a big deal of it over 20 years later. To continue to float it as a major issue serves just to besmirch the good name of a very great player. Please cease trying to fuel this as a current issue.

  12. Such a shame that Rice is now the new Barry Bonds. Stinks for San Fran to have two all-time greats who will never be respected due to their TAINTED legacy and CULTURE of CHEATING!

    Since Rice was such a big part of Montana’s career his legacy too is now under a giant cloud of suspicion.

  13. Next time Jerry keep your mouth shut.
    How does it feel to have * next to all your accomplishments.

    Go Pats! Drive for 5

  14. I’ll bet stickum has nothing on the material of the gloves all th receivers wear now. Why not ban them?

  15. I guess the Patriot haters now believe:

    Jerry Rice*. Career is tainted. Stickumgate.

    49ers* = Super Bowl Cheats.

    Joe Montana. Wins and stats inflated.

  16. Rice is a cheater. A G-D cheater. I’m a hater, and haters gotta hate. I hate him ’cause I ain’t him. Damn cheater.

  17. Karma….What gois around comes around, Maybe we should use an asterisk afetr using Jerry’s* name

  18. It’s hypocritical, outright jealous, and pathetic. This man has not even the slightest inch to speak when it comes to “cheating”. Personally, to me, the most ridiculous part of the entire situation, is the fact that the all these former glory boys(Young, Rice, Aikman, Haley) are calling these rings “tainted”. They all know they don’t actually have asterisks, these guys are all jealous, and it’s actually sad. You believe that, after a team becomes a dynasty, they enter a certain type of brotherhood, and respect. Not that of the 47 year old child, Jerry Rice. Telling People to “respect the rings”, why should they ever respect those dusty rings? You dont respect anybody. Let’s face it guys, Jerry Rice was a film studier and an iconic route runner, but we all know he didn’t have that good of hands, everyone knew it. Somebody get this man a bib and a pacifier, he’s drooling on himself.

  19. Oh Oh, Jerry Cheater Rice is in a very sticky situation…he went from a near bust 1st round pick for dropping balls his rookie year to HOF? Now we definetly know why….might be the biggest cheater of all time in any sport. Sorry, Rice’s SB are all tainted…Joe Montana has 3 SB tainted. I’m sure John Taylor, Brent Jones and Roger Craig were all using it too….that is who Rice meant when he said “everyone did it”, as in all his teammates.

  20. what is funny is how Rice is too dumb to keep track of his own lies….couple months ago he ADMITS to using stickum and knowing it was illegal, just like he knew it was illegal in 1993 when he JOKED about using it against rams….yet a week ago he tweets that he did his “research” and found out it was illegal since 1981. This along with the absurd “Bill Callahan threw our Super Bowl game as a favor to Jon Gruden” officially cement Rice as GIOAT (Greatest Idiot Of All Time)

  21. I hope Jerry Rice has an anti-bullying advocate in his corner. You guys are trying really hard to smear his reputation.

    Isn’t smearing Roger Goddell, Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, Riley Cooper, Richie Incognito, Dan Snyder and Adrian Peterson enough?

    C’mon man!

  22. Rice is an admitted CHEATER!

    Jerry Rice calls the N.E. Patriots cheaters for deflategate, and their records should have an asterisk.

    Well, this reeks of pure jealousy. Rice afraid the 49ers records might be broken by the Patriots? Keep in mind that Rice based his conclusion on deflategate with ZERO evidence.

    Brady and Belichick both denied wrong doing. We may not like the Patriots, but here in NYC we can at least admit it’s based on jealousy. We won’t tarnish Brady’s reputation w/o hard core facts to back it up.

    Crackhead Chris Carter (as he’s known in N.E. now) should move out of his Glass House too!

  23. The difference between what Rice did and what the Patriots are doing is that Rice did it 20+ years ago and no one gives a crap about it at this point in time.

    No one except the GB fans/trolls lives in the past, everyone else looks at what is happening now and in the future.

  24. Dear NFL Fan,

    Hi, I am Commissioner Goodell and “I am focused on the integrity of the game and “protecting the Shield” from any impropriety …”

    Hey Commish – The Colts had the ONLY football that was under 2PSI in their possession for at least 20 MINUTES – what the hell you call that???

    Goodell: “We are unto Concussion Protocol and I have now instructed the Wells Team to redirect 100% of their effort in the direction of this most recent suspicion of the NE PATRIOTS.”

  25. The NFL just can’t get out of it’s own way right now.

    Fabricate a scandal to get the media away from the domestic violence issues\try and halt the Patriots because they’ve won too much in this “age of parity” and what do they get?

    The whole golden era of the NFL cast into doubt.

    Well done Goodell? I guess that’s worth a cool 35 mil or so?

  26. Just soak your gloves in Kool-Aid (pick a color that matches your team) Vikings – Grape, Chiefs – Cherry etc. etc. etc. THEN, let dry. Instant homemade and legal “stick-um”… trust me, Kool-Aid ain’t in the rulebook.

  27. I must’ve seen 4 or 5 interviews with Rice after Moss broke his season TD record in ’07 where the first thing he said was something along the lines of “well he didn’t really break the record because I caught mine in a strike shortened season”.

    Who’s to say that you absolutely would’ve scored more TDs if you played in a few more games that year?

    Suppose there was a problem at the factory and your Stickum got backordered?? Nothing’s a guarantee.

    I don’t care if he used Stickum but the lying and blatant hypocrisy is just so weak.

  28. Amazing how he is getting a free pass from the media on this……he wouldn’t if he played for the Pats. #doublestandard

  29. Last year it was Harbaugh on the outs and a full fledged assault to justify the report. Dismissive of any objections to the merit or intent from said reporting by constantly harping on it 5 times a wk and every hour in gameday. Now this off season the object here is to tie Mr. Rice into a martyr for cheating when in actuality they all were cheating. How about all the defensive players using steroids? I can submit links that supports my assertions without asking for fan help. No one cares when mist realize football is syndicated and predetermined. Like wrestling.

  30. If he never applied stickum to his gloves, maybe Jerry Rice never would have become Jerry Rice.


    He would have just have been another Sidney Rice.

  31. The four legit Super Bowl titles New England has makes Tom Brady and Julian Edelman greater then Joe Montana and stickum hands Jerry Rice

  32. Jerry Rice and Joe Montana did not cheat by using illegal substances, benefiting from cap violations or extensive steroid use by fellow players, or by Walsh forcing opponents to turn off their headsets so Montana could run scripted drives the defense couldn’t adjust to.

    The Patriots did cheat by letting their game balls be subject to the laws of thermodynamics as reported by a Colts GM desperate to save his job after numerous first round draft failures and big game blowout losses.


  33. Truthfully, it matters little to me as effecting Rice’s legacy as being a great football player. From all accounts he worked unlike almost any other to hone his craft.

    As with the deflating crap, spying crap, substituting crap, stickum crap really at the end of the day you have to run, block, catch, tackle and beat your man at the point of attack. Rice voicing his hypocrisy is just another example of the overblown ridiculousness of the torch-and-pitchfork mob mentality that prevails in this holier-than-thou high-and-mighty atmosphere that’s all of a sudden propped up in recent years.

    Are football games really won and lost based on CD disks, ball PSI, adhesive agents on gloves or vaseline on jerseys?

    The question that really comes to mind is this really a mans game anymore? No longer is it can you outman the guy in front of you, you need to find an excuse as to why you lost.

    This is the Madden video game mentality that has taken over society. Wimpify your kids and keep them in their bedroom playing video games screaming the controller is broken or whatever excuse they can come up with why they lost.

    The days of looking in the mirror and saying to yourself, “I lost because they were the better team that day and I need to work harder to be better next time”.

    Now it’s “I lost, so I need an excuse”. Kinda sad, really.

  34. Rice was one of the hardest workers on his game. He kept himself in great shape that lead to a long playing career, worked all off-season with Steve young learning to catch left handed spirals when he took over for Joe Montana. Keep trying to drag the greatest player of all time name through the mud like he’s a criminal like many other hall of fame players…..

  35. What exactly did the NFL ban in 1981, stickum or “adhesives” in general? I ask because stickum is that messy orange goo that can easily be seen. There are other adhesives that can be sprayed on without a noticeable residue or transfer. Those are not “stickum” and if the wording was specifically for stickum they wouldn’t have necessarily been illegal. I’m not saying Rice didn’t have stuff on his gloves, he probably did, but if you are going to say he cheated then the distinction may be important depending on the verbiage in the ban.

  36. right. I remember Fred Biletnikoff also and those videos.

    The problem was this; it wasnt illegal then. The NFL clearly came out and made it illegal. Rice kept doing it. He lied about doing it. He made one-hand catches.

    The 49ers and Rice NEED an esterik on what they accomplished!

    How can they not??


  37. I played tight end in college – the gloves certainly are tacky but those gloves didnt exist when Rice was cheating!

    He gave his whole team a huge advantage!

    I am surprised that more Bengals fans aren’t outraged by this from the 89 superbowl which the 9ers eeked out.

  38. I think most of the guys in the nfl are meathead morons, and then they open their mouths and prove me right.

  39. I saw Jerry Rice play and he was no Randy Moss. Randy Moss could destroy a defense. Jerry Rice was Reggie Wayne with stickum.

  40. Jackie Smith didn’t use stickum in that Super Bowl. If he did, the Cowboys would have 6 rings and the Steelers 5.

  41. Jerry Rice is the biggest disappointment in my era of football history. Besides the admitted cheating, he just revealed what a slimy character he is by publicly throwing Brady under the bus for “Deflategate” with no evidence whatsoever. His motive was driven by pure jealousy.

    Jerry Rice: your rings are tarnished and you also brought down Joe Montana to your cheating level – another one who is jealous of Tom Brady.

  42. And out of all the stories that Mike and Mike would talk about on ESPN radio this morning from Profootballtalk .com it was about Julian Edelman and whether or not he had a concussion. No coverage of Jerry Rice cheating. ESPN bias at its best.

  43. Fact is that stickum was outlawed by the NFL in 1981 but the league ignored it and so did the players. When Rice joined the NFL in 1985 he simply did what other WRs were doing, and when the league started to enforce the rule, WRs around the league stopped. He had no advantage over the other WRs except that he had a better work ethic, was more disciplined in his route running, was amazing after the catch, and simply the best, stickum or no stickum.

  44. To the idiot who said he saw Moss play and said he was better. ROTFLMAO. What a joke. Moss played when he wanted to, took plays and whole series off, pouted, and was all about himself. He had great talent but it was Rice’s discipline, work ethic, and character that put him above the rest. He was all about the TEAM.

  45. The larger point is being glossed over here. If it wasn’t for Mr. Florio’s post, you would be reading or hearing almost NOTHING about this. Can I take you back a few weeks? The top national news broadcasts were being led by stories about “DeflateGate”. NBC, CBS & ABC, and even CNN & FOX on the cable side devoted prime time air to that story. The coverage wasn’t so much about what they did and if they did it. It was more about what should the consequences be – even before the investigation was completed and the facts were known. In the Jerry Rice case, there is no investigation required. He’s ADMITTED to the wrong-doing.

    While I agree there’s a classic irony here in that Rice was speaking to the Patriots championships being tainted, shouldn’t we all be demanding that at least the sports networks (hello ESPN) give the same treatment to a potentially bigger story? It is possible the Pats did nothing wrong here – we still don’t know. But Rice has confessed his crimes!

  46. I’ve enjoyed watching the collapse of the House of Patriots Haters. Remember how for years they said Peyton Manning was the best QB in NFL history, until his annual playoff meltdowns made that a laugher? Then suddenly Montana was back to being the best QB ever, until whoops — his star WR was cheating the entire time. Terry Bradshaw should be sweating abnormal testosterone level bullets right now.

  47. I guess we’ll have to put an asterisk next to all the Super Bowl teams. 49er’s, Patriots, Saints, Ravens, Cowboys, Vikings…. OOPS… Never mind…….

  48. 1970’s Steelers **** rampant steroids
    49ers ***** stickum up
    Broncos ** salary cap violations

    Anybody got anything REAL on the Patriots, Cowboys or 60’s Packers? Taping was legal during the course of games, and done by both the Cowboys and Patriots. The Patriots were fined for doing it from the sidelines in 2006 for one game immediately after being warned by the league about the change of position. All other allegations about taping practices are proven fabrications. Deflate gate will be proven the same. Right now this is how it stands.
    The other 3 are null and void. Also, let’s not forget the 2006 Colts*, where two good and decent men, Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning were tainted by the cheating ways of Bill Polian. AFC Championship game the heat was cranked on a flu-ridden Patriots team and crowd noise was piped in*.

  49. 22 years later and this is what you won’t let it go. What about LTs in game cocaine use, The Dallas Cowboys drug infested party house across from practice field? The rampant use of adderal by recent Seahawks teams?

  50. matchframebill says:
    Feb 16, 2015 10:20 AM
    The larger point is being glossed over here. If it wasn’t for Mr. Florio’s post, you would be reading or hearing almost NOTHING about this. Can I take you back a few weeks? The top national news broadcasts were being led by stories about “DeflateGate”. NBC, CBS & ABC, and even CNN & FOX on the cable side devoted prime time air to that story. The coverage wasn’t so much about what they did and if they did it. It was more about what should the consequences be – even before the investigation was completed and the facts were known. In the Jerry Rice case, there is no investigation required. He’s ADMITTED to the wrong-doing.

    While I agree there’s a classic irony here in that Rice was speaking to the Patriots championships being tainted, shouldn’t we all be demanding that at least the sports networks (hello ESPN) give the same treatment to a potentially bigger story? It is possible the Pats did nothing wrong here – we still don’t know. But Rice has confessed his crimes!
    Would you please stop making sense so we can all get back to our hypocritical hyperventilating self-righteous indignation?

    Thanks-The jealous Patriot hating torch-weilding masses

  51. None of this focus on the “integrity of the game” for all these years would be an issue if Goodell hadn’t over reacted to the Patriots violating a new 2006 rule in the first game of 2007

    He tried to make believe signal filming itself was illegal – and generated the “cheater” battle cry by those who can’t comprehend why coordinators continue to cover their mouths even today

    The “big deal” about Spygate is that Belichick found a gaping loophole in Goodell’s rule and Gooodell’s ego acted angrily with a serious fine

    Goodell has only tarnished perception of the game by hiding the truth about the acceptance of signal filming that goes back to George Halas

  52. The TWO MAIN PROBLEMS with the NFL are:

    #1.) Goodell – He has got to go!

    #.) NFL headquarters in NYC – Get the hell out of that crap hole.

  53. And still the only people who care are the patriot fans trying to justify cheating as the norm. I’m sorry, but that rotten stench still follows you everywhere you go.

  54. VenerableAxiom your cryaby soreloser tears are soooooo sweet! Sorry your team is always playing for 2nd place behind the best ever franchise, team, coach & QB ever…..sorry you root for a loser and that makes you a loser too, no matter how pompous your sign in name is…because you are not a respected premise of fact, but instead just a whiny crybaby loser who got beat up as a kid and roots for loser teams as an adult….but hey, thanks for playing loser. Pats are best dynasty ever!!!!

  55. Really. The only cry babies I see here are the pats fans. I am a true fan, not a bandwagon rider like you, who wasn’t even here the start of the season. If you want to bask in the reflected warmth of a winning team to help you overcome your inferiority complex, you must also wear the stench that comes with the tainted reputation.

  56. New England four legit titles no cheating proven. Go ahead trolls try to prove it.

    49ers titles with rice on team have a sticky asterisk next to them.

    New England > sticky 49ers

  57. Until Jerry Rice addresses this situation it changes the perception of the who he is. Who knows why he took such a strong stance against the Patriots? Maybe he is a hypocrite, like many suggest? Maybe he wanted his name out there so that’s why he took the stance?

    If I were a Patriots fan, player, coach, owner, or water boy, I’d be pissed off at Jerry Rice too.. He was completely wrong and maybe if everyone did use stickum, (by everyone he probably meant, a lot of players) he was naïve enough to think it was no big deal to say he did it since many were?? Just speculating there.. Either way, he needs to address it fast and explain himself with some details.

    As for Jerry Rice the football player… Mike Florio, with your resources I’m surprised you didn’t know that Jerry Rice (except for 2 cold weather games late in 1986), didn’t wear gloves during the 1986 or 1987 seasons. So he couldn’t have been wearing stickum in those seasons unless he covered his body with the orange gluey substance (I’m sure we’d have noticed that). What did Rice do in those years? 1986 he led the NFL in receiving yards and TDs. 1987 he had one of the greatest seasons ever by any player. 23 Total TDs in a strike shortened 12 game season. He won just about every NFL Player of the Year award, and I might add, he had very few drops in 1987 without wearing gloves. He started wearing gloves in week 4 of 1988 and did so for most of the rest of his career. From there, it’s anybody’s guess which games he used stickum, and what catches he wouldn’t have made.

    It’s a FAR more likely scenario that it didn’t help him AT ALL, then to go on the assumption that:

    1) He struggled with drops as a rookie.
    2) Started wearing gloves and sprayed them with stickum.
    3)Suddenly becomes the greatest ever.

    That theory is ludicrous. Explain how 1986 & 1987 (2 of his very best seasons) happened without it? So his place in NFL history shouldn’t change…

    The fact is, it’s been talked about that the deflating footballs has been going on for decades. So it should not be held against Brady and the Pats. It’s no different for Rice. Just like defensive lineman and linebackers for decades have (allegedly) sprayed their jerseys with cooking oils to make it more difficult to block them. If there is a way to alter equipment, in any sport, it’s been tried and done. As for why Jerry outed himself so foolishly should be questioned more so than his actual football career.

  58. That’s the problem. We will never know now. rice may have been using stickum on his bare hands that season. I see he used tape on his fingers when not using gloves. Maybe he was putting stickum on the tape. He may have put it on his socks or wrist bands and rubbed his fingers on it before a catch. Point is, he admitted
    to cheating, so now we will never know. What really sucks is his best catch was aided with stickum. I think sticky gloves should be banned as well though. Can’t really call Odell Beckams catch that great if those gloves are ridiculous sticky.

  59. The real point here though is Rice has admitted to outright cheating. It has been ignored. The patriots have been convicted of nothing yet we have had newscasts dedicated to how they should be punished and how tom brady looked and sounded guilty and how could he not know difference. Even those idiots on espn had to stand there and squeeze and finger all the balls before they decided which ones were low. They should have thrown them the balls and had them immediately thrown it back. I guarantee none of them would have been able to tell the difference. That was a witch hunt and the reason I don’t watch espn anymore.

  60. 2irishanml:

    This is my second attempt to reply. The first one was deleted perhaps for some copyright reasons when I attached a picture from google images of Jerry Rice during a game from 1986 with bare hands (no gloves and no tape) which was the case in 1986 & 1987. He wore neither except for gloves in 2 cold weather games late in 1986. Coincidentally one of those two games was the game he lost the ball on his way to the end zone in that playoff game at the Meadowlands vs the New York Giants.

    As for he could have had the stickum in his socks and put it on his bare hands? I suppose anything is possible, but that is very unlikely as that stuff was a thick, orange gooey substance that stood out like a sore thumb, Just google pictures of Fred Biletnikoff when he had it all over himself. That stuff would have been all over the football and the refs would have had to have let it happen. Plus I think it would have been noticed in pictures and video. So I consider that very unlikely.

    To be fair, until Jerry Rice explains his remarks in detail, your point is fair stating Rice admitted to outright cheating. And as a Patriots fan, which you appear to be, the old eye for an eye applies here. He attacked and judged your team when he had no right to. I understand.

    My point is that if an intelligent person were to dissect Jerry Rice’s career and come up with a logical guess as to how much it helped him based on what we know, I’d say it did very little at best, based on what I explained in my original message. So the people that want his career erased and asterisks and what not, are just haters in my opinion. How can a guy have the greatest season by a WR ever (1987) and one of the top seasons of his career (1986) with bare hands and people think the stickum on the gloves he used after that made him who he was? It’s not like steroids in baseball where guys that were hitting 25 home runs suddenly were hitting 40, and guys that hit 40, were now hitting 60. Rice posted his best season as well as one of his best BEFORE he could have possibly used stickum.

  61. What about all of the lineman in the 1980’s that sprayed their jerseys down with grease to avoid blocks. The 1986 Giants*

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