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Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith Headline NFL Hall of Fame 2010

Jerry Rice was not only the best wide receiver in history, but also arguably the best player at any positionJerry Rice was not only the best wide receiver in history, but also arguably the best player at any positionTwo players who dominated their positions on the field and in the record book entered the NFL Hall of Fame, as Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith were inducted this weekend. Rice owns virtually every wide receiver record in NFL history, while Smith sits atop many rushing records.

Jerry Rice was the most dominant wide receiver in NFL history. He may be the most outstanding player at any position in the history of football, and he’s certainly in any conversation about the best ever players.

Rice joined the San Francisco 49ers the year he turned 23 and retired from football at the age of 43 after 20 NFL seasons. He holds nearly every receiving record there is to hold. In fact, only three wide receivers in league history have career totals matching the numbers Rice put up after he turned 30 years old - 1,000 receptions for 13,546 yards and 102 touchdowns.

His total numbers are staggering. Rice holds records for receptions (1,549); receiving yards (22,895); touchdown receptions (197); yards from scrimmage (23,540); all-purpose yards (23,546); and total touchdowns (208).

And those are just the tip of the iceberg. The list literally goes on and on.

A few more significant accomplishments are Rice’s three Super Bowl championships including one Super Bowl MVP, 11 First-team All-Pro selections, and two time NFL Offensive Player of the Year.

Rice’s greatest years were spent with the 49ers, but he also played for the Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks, and Denver Broncos.

Rice is so good that there is virtually no argument for anyone having been a better wide receiver. Rice is the only wide receiver who enters the discussion of greatest football player of all time.

As for Rice’s co-entrant into the Hall of Fame this year, Emmitt Smith was also superb at his position. It might be harder to say that Smith was the best running back of all time, but Smith racked up some nice numbers.

He holds the NFL record for career rushing yards (18,355); career rushing touchdowns (164); and career 100+ yards rushing games (78). Smith also won three Super Bowls and was named NFL MVP in 1993.

Smith’s glory days came as a member of the Dallas Cowboys, but he played his final games with the Arizona Cardinals.

Joining Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith in the NFL Hall of Fame this year are offensive lineman Russ Grimm, best remembered as a member of the Washington Redskins; linebacker Rickey Jackson, who played for the New Orleans Saints and the San Francisco 49ers; cornerback Dick LeBeau, of the Detroit Lions; defensive tackle John Randle, who played his best ball with the Minnesota Vikings; and running back/kick returner Floyd Little, a member of the Denver Broncos.

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Last modified on Monday, 11 April 2011 16:05

Happy is a regular contributor to RosebudMag.com and has written for various other publications, including Black Belt, Inside Hockey, and FoxSports.com. He transitioned to life as a writer following a decade-long career as a touring musician. He lives with his son in Vancouver, British Columbia

Website: www.rosebudmag.com/hkreter

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