Says Jerry, "You know, that's what made me, running those back dirt roads and country fields."
That was then. Nobody can remember Rice ever dropping a pass as a kid. But he dropped two in exhibition games this August. He dropped at least nine last year; if he'd kept that number down, he probably would have broken Hennigan's receiving-yardage record. "I have to clean that up," says Rice.
He's pretty clean, otherwise. Jerry drives a Porsche, and Jackie tools around in a Jag. Jerry owns a Rottweiler named Max, and Jackie has a poodle named Casio. And Jerry is well dressed. Very GQ. Armani, Ungaro, "whatever looks good," says Jackie. "He's got some clothes; I don't even know what they are," says his father.
So this is all we can give you, gentlemen. Perhaps the dropped balls reflect a tendency to be distracted, to lose his concentration. Maybe the way to cover Rice is to get to know him, be his friend—if you can find the real Rice under the Fifi cut, behind the dark glasses, inside the designer clothes. Turn his head. Tell him how great he is. Maybe he'll believe you. Maybe he'll forget what made him so good and get caught up in his own hype. Maybe he'll forget to catch the ball. We know it isn't much, gentlemen, but it's all we have. You're on your own now. Consider yourselves briefed.