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It's New Experience for Rice

February 02, 2003|From Associated Press

HONOLULU — Oakland's Jerry Rice thought he could relax in Hawaii this week. He planned to play some golf, soak up some sun and run through the light practices until his 13th Pro Bowl appearance today.

Instead, he spent the week dealing with constant attention from his fans, who took breaks from their regular jobs as the AFC's best players to savor the chance to play with the 40-year-old receiver for the first time in his career.

"It's kind of funny," the longtime San Francisco 49er star said while glancing around the AFC locker room Saturday. "There's a lot of guys in here who are looking at me like, 'I can't believe what he's still doing.' I thought I was over that part already.

"It's good to be in the spotlight again, and to be with a new bunch of guys. It seems like old times, but it's something new. It's even better this time around."

Both teams held a light practice at the stadium Saturday -- a change in tradition from previous seasons, when both teams continued their weeklong rotation from the stadium to the Ihilani resort on Oahu's west side.

Even San Francisco's Terrell Owens and Tampa Bay's Simeon Rice made it to the final practice. The NFC stars were fined $4,000 each Friday for skipping practice and a team meeting.

Rice spent the week practicing and golfing -- not necessarily in that order.

"There's so many courses over here it's ridiculous," he said. "I've got to come over when I'm not on business and just enjoy them."

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The Facts

When: Today, 2:30 p.m.

Where: Honolulu

TV: Channel 7

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