FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - FEBRUARY 06: (L-R) members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2010 Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith and Floyd Little pose for a group photo during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2010 Press Conference held at the Greater Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center as part of media week for Super Bowl XLIV on February 6, 2010 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jerry Rice;Emmitt Smith;Floyd Little
While being inducted into the Hall of Fame, NFL receiving leader Jerry Rice says he believes he still could play.
He credited a fear of failure for his success. "I'm here to tell you that the fear of failure is the engine that has driven me throughout my entire life. It flies in the faces of all these sports psychologists who say you have to let go of your fears to be successful and that negative thoughts will diminish performance. But not wanting to disappoint my parents, and later my coaches, teammates and fans, is what pushed me to be successful," Rice said.
The man who holds every important pass-catching record as the game breaker in the West Coast offense for the San Francisco 49ers was elected in his first year of eligibility.
Not only is Rice arguably the best wide receiver ever to play the game, he's also a hall of fame-worthy analyst for NBC Bay Area Sports Sunday.
He became the top receiver in the pro game's most dangerous scheme, combining with Joe Montana and then Steve Young to establish marks that might never be broken.
Rice caught 1,549 passes for 22,895 yards and 208 touchdowns, easily shattering the previous records. He made 10 All-Pro teams, was chosen for 13 Pro Bowls, and made receptions in an almost-unimaginable 274 consecutive games.
Yet, he says, at 47, "I played for 20 years and I still believe in my heart I could play today."