The San Francisco 49ers take on the Houston Texans in Game 2 of the preseason today, but there’s one little bit of history I thought I’d share. We all know the legend of how the greatest player of all time, Jerry Rice came to the 49ers. The trades, the scouting, and the legacy it left.
But it didn’t start at the draft, it started in Houston, Texas.
Bill Walsh—and the 49ers by extension—were in Houston getting ready to play the Houston Oilers (now the Tennessee Titans). While in his hotel room the night before, Walsh turned on the TV and a small school prospect from Mississippi Valley State was lighting up TSU with 4 catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns.
That player was Jerry Rice and he was regarded by several as an “overrated commodity.” Bill Walsh didn’t see that, instead he began drawing up plays and the 49ers put a trade together with the New England Patriots to jump in front of the Dallas Cowboys (a team that also was showing interest) and take Rice.
You know the rest. Rice went on to be the greatest football player of all time. This was definitely a day where the stars aligned for a lot of people, but it all started in Houston with Walsh turning on the evening news.
For 49ers fans, good things happen in Houston.