Age Doesn't Lie

Walking away from the game at your peak is often not a feat imaginable in athletics. So often a career is abruptly cut short due to injury or by losing the talent an athlete once possessed. The great athletes have the virtue of hanging around and padding their statistics, but eighty percent of the time they stick around too long. The true love of the game stays in them, and never goes away. Even when an athlete finally hangs up the uniform, they find another route to keep their sports high going with a different element of athletics.

Jerry Rice has had an illustrious career that has been a precedent for any receiver that plans to take a step on the NFL football field. He has worked relentlessly his entire career, and just like Michael Jordan, Rice has a strong attitude at working 100 percent and putting forth maximum effort. Throughout his twenty one years, he hasn’t changed up his routine at all in the off-season. Some athletes that take an extra hard beating to their body, will let the toll placed upon their body revitalize before pressing on.

It’s called rest and recovery, because too much stress with additional non needed exercise always equals to injury. Rice’s strenuous approach has been an exception, and has kept him as fit and chiseled with the body of a young athlete. There is one problem though for Rice. No matter how hard you work as an athlete, skills can only diminish as age progresses. It’s a natural fact, yet the mind game will always be there for Rice. Still, when your legs can’t move as quick as your mind is telling you, than it’s time to hang it up.

Who wants to play hot potato and be passed along like a baton in the latter stages of their career? Rice played with the 49ers the majority of his career, and if he continues to play football he’ll be on his third team in three seasons. The traveling of a journeyman in athletics isn’t a good sign. It means they’re always at the bottom of the totem pole, and barely contributing to a teams needs.

Stats don’t lie either, as in the past three years his numbers all around for receptions and yardage have dropped 1/3 every season. From his shocking season in 2002 with the Raiders in which he had ninety two catches for 1,211 yards; 2003, sixty three catches for 861 yards, and last season thirty catches for 429 yards.

If the trend continues, signing with Denver would be the worst mistake Rice would make in his career. Last season with Seattle he might have had the best hands, but he was drastically slower than he was even a year or two prior. If Rice truly wants to continue his career, he’ll have to play limited downs and be more of a mentor for the Broncos youth.

Contemplating his decision truly should fall solely on Rice’s shoulders. Opportunities come and go, and this could be the ending on his timeline as a receiver. He can prolong the inevitable but it truly isn’t necessary. He has distinguished himself to be the epitome of what a receiver is suppose to be. An automatic first time hall of famer, countless records, and multiple Super Bowl rings under his belt, is what should be defined as flawless. Let’s hope Jerry Rice makes the right decision, so that the youth of today’s world doesn’t get the wrong image in their head of Rice, as his career fades to black.


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