Jerry Rice had me smiling during his 30-minute Hall of Fame media conference call Thursday when he said he's still working out the way he did as a player -- at age 47.
Rice, of course, was legendary for more than his on-field production.
"Rice's workout routine consisted of morning cardiovascular work and afternoon strength work," a 2005 Salon.com piece said. "Rice would run fast up a steep five-mile trail on a course called The Hill, pausing at the steepest section to do 10 -- yes, 10 -- 40-meter wind sprints. Roger Craig, the former 49ers running back and himself a superbly conditioned athlete, ran The Hill with Rice. Afterward, Craig said he felt like he was going to die. In the afternoon, Rice would do weight work -- 630 repetitions' worth."
A reporter asked Rice about those workouts Thursday and whether Rice kept a similar pace in retirement.
"Yeah, I still work out hard," Rice said. "I am running probably in a week's time about maybe 20 miles or something like that. I still go to the gym. I do my lifting. I might be on the VersaClimber or the treadmill 45 minutes to an hour. This is something that has been a part of my life and sometihng I enjoy doing. I am going to continue doing it. I haven't really took any time off. I enjoy working out and I am working just as hard as when I played professional football."
Right down to the trail.
"I still run the trail," Rice said. "I go back and there are so many great memories. I think about what I put my body through -- the pain, torture -- but I think it prepared me to play football for a long time. And in the fourth quarter, when everything was on the line, even though I was tired, I was able to push through that and still be able to run good routes and make the catch to win a football game."