NFL greats, Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith, saw their destinies fulfilled on Saturday night (August 7) when both were inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Both admitted they can finally stop chasing.
“This is finally it,” Rice said, according to SI.com. “There are no more routes to run, no more touchdowns to score, no more records to set. That young boy from Mississippi has finally stopped running.
“Let me stand here and catch my breath.”
An hour later, Smith tried to hold back his tears as he reflected on his unequaled career.
“Most people only dream,” Smith said. “I not only had my childhood dream, I did everything I could to fulfill it. … You know what, I am now the all-time leading rusher. ‘Wow. What an honor.”
As an NFL receiver, Rice holds every important pass-catching record. Sport Illustrated says “he established marks that might never be broken.”
Rice caught 1,549 passes, more than 400 beyond anyone else. He gained 22,895 yards, more than 7,600 ahead of second place. He scored 208 touchdowns, easily shattering the previous record. He made 10 All-Pro teams, was chosen for 13 Pro Bowls, and made receptions in an almost-unimaginable 274 consecutive games.
With all those numbers ahead of any other player, Rice said, during his speech, that even at 47 today, he still feels he could play today.
During Smith’s speech, he began choking up. He praised Walter Payton, the man he surpassed as rushing king.
The Dallas Cowboys running back rushed for 18,355 yards, with 164 touchdowns, 11 seasons with 1,000 or more yards on the ground, and 78 games with 100 yards rushing.
He also won three Super Bowls, and took MVP honors in the 1994 game.
In addition to Smith and Rice, the Class of 2010 also included John Randle, Dick LeBeau, Rickey Jackson, Russ Grimm and Floyd Little.