29 Sep 1996: Jerry Rice #80 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates with Derrick Deese #63 during their 39-17 victory over the Atlanta Falcons at 3Com Park in San Francisco, California. Mandatory Credit: Otto Greule Jr. /Allsport
The San Francisco 49ers need some -- any -- kind of spark to reignite their season after a 25-point loss and the reigning Super Bowl champions coming to town for Monday Night Football.
Don't be surprised if that spark comes from Jerry Rice.
Rice will be onhand at Candlestick Monday night because the 49ers will be retiring his No. 80 jersey before the game, the team announced Thursday.
Rice will also be an honorary 49ers captain at the 49ers-Saints game Monday night.
No 49er has been issued No. 80 since Rice retired, and the number has been ubiquitously associated with him since he hung up his Louis Vuitton cleats. He wore No. 80 as a Raider and as a Seahawk. Although Isaac Bruce apparently use to wear the number in practice because he said it helped him find himself on film.
And in a recent Sports Illustrated list of the best NFL players by jersey number, Rice was named the best player ever to wear No. 80.
Rice will be the 11th 49ers player to have his jersey retired. These 11 players are listed on Matt Barrows' Sacramento Bee 49ers blog.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who really hopes the No. 80 jersey they retire is the old school 80s jersey and not the funky late 90s jersey.
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