Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Jerry Rice identifies the greatest moment in 49ers history, shares a head-scratching memory

May 29, 2020 at 1:43 PM--

Few NFL franchises — few sports franchises, even — have as rich of a history as the San Francisco 49ers. They are one of the most iconic organizations in sports.

Of all the great moments in the franchise's history, which is the greatest? Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice joined 95.7 The Game on Friday and had an answer.

"The greatest moment for the San Francisco 49ers was when they traded with the New England Patriots to get [up] to the 16 spot (in the 1985 draft)," Rice said on the Joe, Lo and Dibs show, "and they picked this guy out of Mississippi Valley State University. His name -- I think his name was ... Jerry Rice! That was the greatest moment for the San Francisco 49ers."

Rice had never flown in an airplane before that moment but got to do so after being drafted. He traveled to the West Coast for his introductory press conference with the 49ers.

That certainly has to rank up there with the greatest moments in franchise history, and perhaps Rice was only joking (or maybe not), but what about the greatest on-field moment? For the answer to that, Rice named a play that happened years before his arrival to the NFL.

"I think the thing is 'The Catch,'" Rice said. "Everything goes back to 'The Catch.' And Joe (Montana) and Dwight (Clark), they used to fight over this all the time. Joe wanted it to be 'The Throw' while Dwight wanted 'The Catch.' I'm like, 'OK, you guys made a play, and Joe, to be honest with you, I know you were throwing that ball away. But Dwight, he went up, and he saved your butt, and he made the catch.'

"So that started the dynasty for the San Francisco 49ers, and I think when people reflect, when you think about the Niners, it was that catch against the Dallas Cowboys."

Rice also mentioned a head-scratcher of a moment that he mistakenly remembers about legendary head coach Bill Walsh and how he motivated the team before a game. Rice said he believes it was Super Bowl XXIII. The former receiver remembers Walsh showing a clip from the movie Gladiator with Russell Crowe.

"Russell Crowe said something about whatever comes through those walls, we have a better chance of winning if we stick together," Rice said. "[Walsh] didn't say anything else. He didn't let the coaches say anything else, and the coaches just walked out of the room. The players looked at this clip, and we were ready to do battle. We went out the next day, and we won that Super Bowl."

There's just one problem.

Gladiator was released in 2000, 11 years after Super Bowl XXIII, and Walsh's ensuing departure from the team. Walsh was serving in an executive role with San Francisco in 2000, and that was Rice's final year with the 49ers, so maybe a moment from that season is what the receiving legend is remembering.

Or maybe he got the film wrong.

Anyway, you can listen to the entire conversation with Rice below.

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