There was a story that caused a bit of a kerfluffle over the weekend, where Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice claimed that all of his wide receiver peers used a substance known as "stickum." Stickum is exactly what it sounds like. . .it's a very sticky substance that is applied to the hands in order to make catching a football easier.
To be precise, Rice said the following:
"I know this might be a little illegal, guys, but you put a little spray, a little stickum on them, to make sure that texture is a little sticky," Rice said, laughing.
Well, it was actually a lot illegal, as the NFL banned the use of stickum in 1981. . .a full four seasons before Rice entered the National Football League. Rice tried to justify his actions on Twitter over the weekend.
I apologize ppl after doing my research about stickum! The NFL banned this in 1981. All players did it! #equalplayingfield— Jerry Rice (@JerryRice) February 7, 2015
Well, he claims that everyone did it, but there's at least one receiver that claims that he did not. . .and, given the set of hands he possesses, it's probably prudent to believe him.
Cris Carter, former Minnesota Vikings' great, took exception to Rice's claim.
I never used #StickumGate , and @JerryRice isn't speaking about me or for me.— Cris Carter (@criscarter80) February 8, 2015
God made my hands, he put #StickumGate on them,never a need to use anything but my God giving talent, and perfect it with a Jugs machine.— Cris Carter (@criscarter80) February 9, 2015
(Ugh. . .again with the "Gate" thing. For the love of. . .)
Carter was named to have the best hands in NFL history on one of the "Top Ten" specials done by the NFL Network some years ago. We got to witness him making ridiculous catch after ridiculous catch for years in Minnesota. If the man says he didn't use any sort of foreign substance on his hands to help him make those grabs, then I'm inclined to believe it.