Black History Month: Jerry Rice, 49ers first Black Super Bowl MVP

Jerry Rice #80, Wide Receiver for the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Rick Stewart/Allsport/Getty Images)
Jerry Rice #80, Wide Receiver for the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Rick Stewart/Allsport/Getty Images) /

Jerry Rice is an NFL legend. He however holds a very specific distinction in 49ers franchise history that rarely gets discussed.

Former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice is an absolute legend when it comes to the NFL and the game of football. He earned numerous accolades throughout his Hall of Famer career, some of which seemingly will never get touched in many of our lifetimes.

If ever.

Rice has the most career touchdowns of all time with 208. The next closest active player is running back Adrian Peterson at No. 10 with 126 touchdowns. Peterson is in the twilight of his career and it’s highly unlikely he would be able to even get close to that number.

Rice also has the most career-receiving yards of all time with 22,895. The person in the No. 2 spot is wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. And although he has not officially announced his retirement as yet, at 38 years old, it seems unlikely Fitzgerald would be able to gain the 5,000-plus yards he would need to move into the top spot.

On most top NFL players of all-time lists, Rice lands in the top five if not in the top spot (which is where he regularly landed pre-Tom Brady).

One accolade in particular which Rice received seems to be quite a common one upon first look.

That accolade is the Super Bowl MVP Award which he won for his performance in Super Bowl XXIII.

Read More: Michael Irvin says Jerry Rice is ‘first, period’ among wide receivers

Although his one-time winning that award seems very typical of a player of his caliber, it made him the first Black player in 49ers’ franchise history to win a Super Bowl MVP.

With that let’s take a look at that game that put him in the annals of history.

49ers get stellar Super Bowl performance from Jerry Rice

Super Bowl XXIII was a rematch between the 49ers and the Cincinnati Bengals in Miami, Florida. Rice would end up having one of the best Super Bowl performances from a wide receiver to this day.

He grabbed 11 receptions in the game for a then game-tying Super Bowl record. He would put up 215 yards receiving for a record that still stands to this day. For reference, no other player has even broken 200 yards receiving in the game’s history.

He would also have 220 total yards from scrimmage with his sole carry for 5 yards in addition to the receiving yards. That record for scrimmage yards in a Super Bowl is also one that stands to this day.

Read More: 10 greatest Super Bowl moments in 49ers history

On top of those numbers, Rice would also have a 14-yard touchdown reception. The 49ers would go on to win that game 20-16 to win their third Super Bowl in franchise history.

As mentioned, Rice would win the Super Bowl MVP for his performance, making him the first Black Super Bowl MVP in the 49ers franchise history.

While Rice’s other numerous career achievements tend to overshadow the brevity of his Super Bowl MVP, he should always be remembered fondly for this accolade and how high he set the bar for wide receivers to win future Super Bowl MVPs.

Next. 30 greatest 49ers players in franchise history. dark