The Rice Man Cometh (Still!)
When I heard (OK - half-listening) on the news the other day that Jerry Rice had signed on with the Denver Broncos - I assumed it meant as coaching staff. "Cool", I thought. I knew he'd been around a while and surely had some good gridiron wisdom to impart to the young-uns. A teeny little part of my brain wondered, "Hmm, special teams or defensive coordinator" while another part registered the fact that Rice was going to play. And like the rest of America I found myself to be an ageist, at least temporarily. "Isn't he like...old.?"
So I become intrigued and start reading up. Yeah, he's old! I read a news blurb that mentioned that Rice was around to vote for Jimmy Carter in 1980. Wait - I was around then too. I see his age - 42 - and realize - I'm older than him! Yes, and I too have been pushing the envelope - physically and mentally.
I started in Martial Arts when I turned 40, have been training fairly steady for the last seven years. It's not a career, but it is a lifestyle change. Luckily the injuries have been fairly minor, but my knees are taking a beating. Should I stop? Hell no. I will modify what I need to, and keep moving.
Rice wants to keep moving too, he just wants to play without some of the pressure of past years. The wide receiver who gave the 49's more than 15 years, and 3 Super Bowls, says he just loves the game, and he can still play. He's not a shoo-in, he still has to try out, and he isn't asking for #80. Sounds good to me.
Speaking of #80, another wide receiver, free agent Troy Brown (and one of my favorite Pats) just signed with New England. Again. It's a one year deal, but this too, sounds good to me too.
Anyway, back to Mr. Rice - I say, good for him, age is just a number. He's had a lot of good numbers in his career, and God willing 2005-2006 will give him a few more.