In the eyes of many, Jerry Rice is the greatest player in the history of the NFL regardless of position. His sustained dominance at the wide receiver position has led to his records not even being threatened by the number of outstanding players who have come after him.
Most of Rice’s career was spent with the San Francisco 49ers, where he won three Super Bowls and a Super Bowl MVP. But late in his career, he joined the then-Oakland Raiders and continued to operate at a high level, helping lead the team to Super Bowl XXXVII.
Unfortunately, the result of that game is one that Raiders players and fans want to forget as they were dominated by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers led by former Raiders coach Jon Gruden and Rice himself admitted that the loss hurt him deeply in an interview with Raiders Newswire’s Ryan Ward, via LakersNation.com.
“After that game, I went back to my room and I cried like a baby because I was so used to winning Super Bowls,” Rice said. “I was never on the end of losing one. That hurt me so hard and plus, I wanted to like I said help Tim Brown win a Super Bowl because this guy, what he stood for and how he was a leader and all of that, I just felt like he really deserved one.”
The pain was twofold for Rice as losing on that stage was something he had never experienced, but also he badly wanted to win for his receiving partner Tim Brown who never was able to get that elusive Super Bowl on his resume.
The best always expect to succeed at the highest level, and this was one of the few times that Rice was unable to get that victory. But when you are also doing things for someone else, it tends to hurt even more as you feel like you let that person down.
That night, Rice undoubtedly did his part as he finished with 77 yards and a touchdown, but it wasn’t meant to be. But the loss doesn’t change his impact during his stint with the Raiders, as he and Brown formed one of the best receiving duos the NFL has ever seen.