Well, it’s June, the least news-worthy time of the NFL year and there is still quite a bit to get to. Here we go:
Isaac Bruce is ready to make a difference for the 49ers, a long-time rival in his days with the Rams. There is a reminder in the article that Jerry Rice and Steve Young haven’t yet had their numbers retired by the 49ers. The first word that came to mind was “travesty,” but maybe that should be reserved for truly upsetting things in life, like natural disasters, wars, etc. Rice, the greatest receiver ever, and Young, one of the most efficient quarterbacks ever, not having their numbers retired aren’t travesties, but the situations are peculiar for a franchise that has long been mentioned as one of the classiest in the league. Of course, that was mostly before the Yorks took over the team. Just in case the imbosoles running the franchise are unaware of the contributions Rice and Young have made, here is a glimpse at their accomplishments with the 49ers:
2,400 completions, 65.8 completion percentage, 29,907 yards, 221 touchdowns, 3,581 yards rushing, 37 touchdowns
7-time Pro Bowler, 7-time All-Pro, 2-time NFL MVP, 1-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year, 3-time Super Bowl winner, Super Bowl XXIX MVP, NFL record-holder for career quarterback rating (96.8) and career rushing touchdowns (43), and most touchdown passes in a Super Bowl (6).
1,281 receptions, 19,247 yards, 176 touchdowns
13-time Pro Bowler, 12-time All-Pro, 2-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year, 3-time Super Bowl winner, Super Bowl XXIII MVP, NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, NFL 1980s AND 1990s All-Decade Teams, and here is the real kicker.
According to Wikipedia, Rice held the following records at the time of his retirement:
Career receptions (1,549), receiving yards (22,895), touchdown receptions (197), yards from scrimmage (23,540), all-purpose yards (23,546), rushing/receiving touchdowns (207), total touchdowns (208). That’s just the beginning. Rice also holds:
44 other touchdown records
119 season records
23 game records
18 49ers records (including games played and started, touchdowns, points scored, and all-purpose yards)
91 age-related records
26 decade-related records
11 Monday Night Football records (including touchdowns, receptions and receiving yards)
35 single-accomplishment records
And we’re still going…
8 postseason records (including games played, touchdowns, receptions and receiving yards)
9 Super Bowl records (receptions, receiving yards, all-purpose yards, touchdown receptions and points scored)
What more does the man have to do to get his freaking number retired? A generation of 49ers fans grew up on Montana-Rice and another generation has grown up reliving their Super Bowl wins and record-setting accomplishments through NFL Films highlights. Rice is as much a 49er as any other player in team history. His number 80 shouldn’t be worn by any other 49er, ever.
Same goes for Young, who had to wait for Montana to leave before firmly establishing his dominance as a passer. His accomplishments are prolific, his contributions to the 49ers everlasting. No other 49er should ever be allowed to don the number 8 again.
More Niners news on the way soon.