Nationals

Jerry Rice to Randy Moss: check the stats

Jerry Rice to Randy Moss: check the stats

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Hall of Famer Jerry Rice has no interest in a back-and-forth debate with Randy Moss during Super Bowl week about who's the greatest NFL wide receiver of all time.

``This is not about Randy and Jerry,'' Rice said Thursday. ``It's OK. I don't need to talk about being the best receiver. I don't need to do that. I don't need to pat myself on the back.''

Rice has a strong opinion on the matter, yet insists he won't come out and say he is the best ever. The former San Francisco 49ers star turned television man will offer one thought to Moss: Check the stats.

``I know he says you can't bring the stats into the scenario, but I think that's part of being the best receiver to play the game,'' Rice said Thursday. ``I'm just having fun with it right now. I think the thing is, I never took any plays off and I always gave 100 percent. Also, you put my numbers up against Randy's and my body of work compared to his, and there's a big difference.''

During media day Tuesday at the Superdome, Moss declared himself ``the greatest receiver ever to play this game.'' The 35-year-old Moss, who returned to the league this season after a year off, Moss made 28 catches for 434 yards and three touchdowns this season. In 2007, he broke Rice's single-season record for touchdown catches with 23. Rice had 22 in 1987.

Rice had 14 1,000-yard seasons. Moss is second with 10.

Rice, who played the first 16 of his 21 NFL seasons with San Francisco from 1985-2000, holds virtually every significant receiving mark. That includes most career receptions (1,549); yards receiving (22,895); total touchdowns (208); and combined net yards (23,546) in his career with San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle.

Rice gives Moss the nod for pure talent and athletic ability, but that's not all it takes.

``The thing about me guys - and I still say this today - I think Randy Moss was the most talented,'' Rice said. ``But along with being the most talented, you have to work hard - every season, every play. I was not the most talented, but I was going to outwork you. He probably could have been the greatest player ever to play the game. He's 6-5, could run a 4.3. Could outjump you. Struck fear in the heart of the defense. But you have to have it here, in your heart.''

Rice later pointed out that he wasn't questioning Moss' heart, just emphasizing his own and the passion for the game.

``This is how I impacted the game,'' Rice said, holding up the sparkly 1988-89 championship ring on his middle right finger, ``with Super Bowl rings. I'm hoping he can go out there and win his first one and be a big factor.''

Before Rice spoke, during a media session for several in the lineup of ESPN commentators, he was announced as ``arguably the best wide receiver ...'' The woman couldn't finish before Rice interrupted.

``The second best,'' he quipped, laughing.

Let the debate continue.

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Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic and Nationals grant boys wish to be a player for a day

Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic and Nationals grant boys wish to be a player for a day

The Nationals welcomed 10-year-old cancer patient Parker Staples as the newest addition to their team on Friday, in conjunction with the Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic Foundation.

While battling lymphoma, Staples learned he would receive a wish and didn’t hesitate about what he wanted to choose. After being sidelined for two years during treatment, Parker couldn’t wait to celebrate his remission by becoming part of his favorite baseball team. 

Staples was introduced to his new teammates and got signed autographs from Matt Adams, Juan Soto, Anthony Rendon, and Yan Gomes. He also got to spend time hitting and playing catch with his new teammates, as well as being interviewed as the newest member of the team. It gets even better than that, Staples threw the ceremonial first pitch at Nationals Park leading up to the Marlins-Nationals game Staples 

The Nationals are hosted the Miami Marlins in the series opener Friday.

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Australian Taste Test: Washington Spirit Aussies serve up Vegemite

Australian Taste Test: Washington Spirit Aussies serve up Vegemite

Washington Spirit Aussies Chloe Logarzo and Amy Harrison have NBC Sports Washington’s Anna Witte try Australian staples Vegemite and Bundaberg ginger beer.

According to Logarzo, before each game with the Australian National team, all of the players would eat vegemite on toast with poached eggs and avocado. 

Witte rated the Vegemite a four out of ten, her immediate response was that it tastes "Super salty."

"Not awful, but I don't think I would buy it for myself....it's awful."

Both Logarzo and Harrison joined the Spirit this season. Harrison has appeared in ten games for the Australian national team and Logarzo has appeared in 37. 

After two straight wins the Washington Spirit are looking to continue their winning streak this weekend against the Chicago Red Stars.

Washington will face off against Chicago at the SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois on Sunday, March 26 at 6 p.m.

In the NWSL standings, the Red Stars are in first place with a 3-1-2 record and the Spirit are in fourth with a 3-1-1 record. In 2018, Chicago took the series over Washington with two wins and a draw.

Despite missing U.S. National players Rose Lavelle and Mallory Pugh, the Spirit defeated Portland Thorns FC last weekend 3-1. 

Amy Harrison scored the first goal during the 16th minute followed by Portland scoring on their own goal in the 47th minute to put Washington ahead 2-0. Finally, in the 71st minute, Jordan Diabasi scored an olimpico. 

Spirit Midfielder Jordan DiBiasi won the NWSL Goal of the Week for her goal against the Portland Thorns last weekend. 

Spirit Goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe continues to lead the NWSL with 19 saves.