Behind most great athletes is a maniacal workout routine of some sort, and for Jerry Rice, it took the form of “the Hill.” Rice ran 2.5 miles up that hill “every day” during his playing days, and swore by the impact it had on his ability to fight through fatigue and make plays at the ends of games.
Now, apparently, he’s looking to get the next generation of 49ers receivers on the same regimen – specifically, the team’s first-round pick this year, A.J. Jenkins. Rice talked about the Hill with Jenkins when he first got drafted (though at that time it looked kind of like a joke), and mentioned it again today, this time looking less like a joke. And he also addressed it on NFL Live, pretty much confirming his offer to show Jenkins the ropes on the Hill was the real deal:
Well, Jenkins pretty much has to do it now, and he’ll probably regret it to begin with, because, again, 2.5 miles uphill. But if he can hack it, it couldn’t hurt. We hope, though, that this is just a prelude to Rice getting psychotically-competitive Jim Harbaugh to do this run with him with cameras rolling, so we can see Harbaugh yell “I AM YOUR RULER NOW!!!!!!” at the ground upon finishing, followed by him eating a giant clump of dirt to assert his dominance. And then, based on his coaching career to date, it would probably somehow work as a motivational tactic. You could do worse than having both Rice and Harbaugh pushing you.