Jerry Rice was one of the best receivers of all-time to a generation of NFL fans that grew up in the Bay Area, rooting for the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders. But Rice also was an icon to a generation of Bay Area masseuses, who mourned the retirement of the former NFL star and massage parlor patron.
Writers and pundits moved quickly on Tuesday to galvanize the image of Rice as a classy and professional receiver, ignoring his seedy indiscretion. Why should Tuesday be any different than Rice's playing career when any imprudence was pushed to the back pages? The story is still buried, save a few reputable websites.
But there are still a whole generation of working girls that will not forget the past and are apprehensive about a future without one of their best customers.
"He was one of the greatest to ever play the game," said Mitzy from Lady Lucy’s Massage and Donuts in San Francisco. "But he was also an all-star customer for us, too. Especially in the later years when his body started to break down. He really need a 'deep tissue' message in his years with the Raiders.
"I know that I speak for a lot of girls when I say that we helped Jerry prolong his career for a couple of years. Hopefully when he is elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he will remember us and everything we did for--and to--him during his career. He owes us that much."