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5 Must-read Stories from 49ers Legends Steve Young and Jerry Rice

Posted Sep 1, 2016

Check out the must-read memories told by two Hall of Fame players at a recent event from the 49ers Museum.


San Francisco 49ers legends Steve Young and Jerry Rice recently co-hosted an event to raise awareness for their philanthropic causes.

The pair of Hall of Famers invited 110 guests to the 49ers Museum to help gain support for their numerous charitable organizations, including "The Forever Young Foundation," "8 to 80 Zones" and "Sophie’s Place."

Young and Rice began the event by sharing timeless stories from their playing days. Here are the five best, must-read anecdotes.

1. The Office of “The Genius” Bill Walsh


The legends started their fireside chat with memories of the great Bill Walsh. The museum houses an exact replica of the Hall of Fame head coach’s office.

“What do you remember of that office? Because I probably remember that office differently than you,” Young joked to begin the exchange.

“Bill would invite players to his office, and this could either be good, or it could be bad,” Rice replied

Young quickly interrupted.

“You had a good one? Oh that’s right, you’re Jerry Rice," he said. "You probably had good memories of that office didn’t you?”

Rice laughed, confirming Young’s suggestion. The receiver known as "The Greatest of All Time" proceeded to share one of his best exchanges with Walsh during his rookie season in 1985. The first-round pick had just posted his first monster game in the NFL – 10 catches for 241 yards and one touchdown on "Monday Night Football" against the Los Angeles Rams.

“Bill wanted me to come to his office (after the game),” Rice explained. ”I’m thinking, ‘Oh, Bill is gonna pat me on my back. It’s going to be great.’”

No such luck.

“Bill looked me directly in my eye and said, ‘I want more from you,’” Rice said. “He was just that type of guy.”

2. Coach Rice


Young was known throughout his career for his ability to make plays as a runner. Rice joked with the attendees that Young’s propensity to scramble didn’t always sit well with him.

The Hall of Fame quarterback recalled one specific instance where he ran for a touchdown, only to be greeted by Rice back on the sideline.

“Hey, bro, that might work right now,” Rice told Young during the game, “but it ain’t gonna to work in the long run. He’d always remind me, ‘If you want to win, throw me the ball.’”

The two combined for 92 touchdowns, second most for a quarterback-wide receiver connection in NFL history, so Young clearly got the picture.

“I’m glad Steve decided to stay in the pocket and throw me the ball,” Rice deadpanned.

3. The Epitome of Rice's Hard Work


Following the franchise’s fifth Super Bowl parade in January of 1995, Young vividly recalls what made Rice the "G.O.A.T." The day after the celebrations, players cleared out their locker and the team’s headquarters became a ghost town. Young, who was single at the time, admitted that he didn’t know what else to do besides come into the office.

So the quarterback decided to show up to the vacant training facility. Young detailed that only the lone, 24-hour security officer was at the building. The quarterback toured through the locker room, reminiscing about his first Super Bowl victory as a starting NFL signal-caller.

He opened the door to the practice fields and saw someone working out on their own, running routes.

“’I think that’s Jerry,’” Young recalled thinking to himself. “’That is Jerry. What’s Jerry doing?’ He was running routes on air. No one else was around. Just himself.”

Then what?

“’Do I go out there? Do I put my cleats on and everything?’ I closed the door and went back inside,” Young laughed along with everyone else in the museum.

To Young, the moment was quintessential Rice.

“I tell you that story so you can know this man better,” Young said. “Nobody would have known except him. I use that for myself a lot. Who’s around and why am I doing (what I’m doing)? And am I doing it for the purpose that I say I am?”

4. How the Gold Jackets Were Earned


Young and Rice both commended Eddie DeBartolo Jr., the 49ers legendary owner, on his induction into the Hall of Fame. Rice also took the opportunity to discuss the main reason why Young and Joe Montana have gold jackets of their own.

“I talk a lot about Steve and I talk a lot about Joe. Of course you guys know that I put both of those guys in the Hall of Fame,” Rice said with a straight face.

Young was quick to rebuttal.

“That’s funny because Joe and I say that we put Jerry in,” he quipped back, getting more laughs from the entire room.

5. "Dancing with the Stars"


Young, while discussing the 23-year success of the “Forever Young Foundation,” also explained why the “Steve Young, Jerry Rice Bay Area Classic” annual golf tournament is his favorite event.

“Because I’m the life of the party,” Rice jumped in.

The legendary wideout had no idea what can of worms he’d opened, and Young didn’t hesitate to capitalize.

“I will say this,” Young smiled, knowing what blow he was about to deliver, “there’s Jerry before ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ and Jerry after ‘Dancing with the Stars.’”

The entire place erupted. Rice tried to change the conversation: “20 years of football, and he’s talking about ‘Dancing with the Stars.’”

But there was no stopping the roll that Young was on.

“Bro, I’m jealous. When we go to the airport, every woman from (age) 35 to 90, is like, ‘Jerry, do that thing again,’” Young popped out of his chair to demonstrate the dance move. “And then, of course, he does that thing again.”

Rice finally gave in.

“It’s just a little shimmy, though,” the receiver said humbly. “That’s all it is.”


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