Rice family proud, on way to Canton
Jerry Rice smiles during a news interview Tuesday. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
There will be a strong family presence in Canton, Ohio, for Jerry Rice this weekend as he's being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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Jerry's mother, Eddie B., sister Eddie Dean Harris, and about 30 other family members left by bus Wednesday night to make the trip to Canton for the ceremonies.
"We've got so much activity going on from what I was reading in the agenda," Eddie Dean said. "I know there's going to be a banquet during the enshrinement and we'll have a parade on Saturday."
Eddie Dean believes the induction of her brother into the Hall of Fame provides an adequate closure for a football career that began at B.L. Moor High School in Oktibbeha County.
She has enjoyed following Jerry every step of the way.
"I'm glad to be able to go to (the Hall of Fame) too," Eddie Dean said. "You get to go to football games and now it's like everything is coming to an end."
As Jerry's mother reflected on his career, she's excited about the things he's been able to accomplish.
"I'm very happy about what he's doing and what he's done down through the years," Eddie B. said. "It's just a blessing because the Lord has given him all the strength and help to do this. I'm very proud of Jerry."
Jerry wishes his late father, Joe Nathan, could be present for the ceremonies, but knows he'll be there in spirit.
"My father was always there," Jerry said. "He was a very hard man, but you really know that he loved you. To be able to watch me play football and win Super Bowls, I could tell he was really happy about that. I'm sure when he walked around Starkville and Crawford, Mississippi, I'm sure everyone could tell he has his head held high.
"For me to get inducted into the Hall of Fame which I feel is the last hurrah right here, he will be there supporting me and would have been proud of me."