Rice goes from catching bricks to the Hall of Fame

Jerry Rice is well known for catching bricks while training to become a professional football player. Rice, who was announced as a member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2010 on Saturday, stopped by the Sirius XM set where Gil Brandt asked him about the genesis of that habit.

“We used to be up 20 feet off the ground, and I would be on a scaffold,” Rice said. “I would have my brothers toss bricks in the air, and I would snatch them out of the air. That taught me that this was a very demanding job.”

Despite the fact that Rice was a shoe-in to be voted into the Hall of Fame today, he said he never took that as a certainty.

“Until your name is called — I mean I didn’t take it for granted,” he said. “I’m very superstitious. It’s just like the draft. Until your name is called, you’re like ‘Ok I’m in now.'”

Brandt was sure to remind Rice of how close he was to becoming a member of the Dallas Cowboys, recounting the same story he told me earlier about San Francisco trading up to get him.

“I thought I was going to be a Dallas Cowboy,” Rice told Brandt. “Then San Francisco traded with New England, and I became a 49er. And oh my god did we have some rivalries.”

As fate would have it, Rice will be inducted in August with Emmitt Smith, who was on the other side of the rivalries.

“(Emmitt and I) talked about this backstage, and we just can’t believe this is happening,” Rice said. “This is something that is so special. We have always battled and respected each other. But as football players, the Niners, we did not like the Dallas Cowboys. But I have so much respect going into the hall with him.”

— Aron Angel

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