Jerry Rice can’t live without receptions.
The 13-time Pro Bowler, who holds records in most wide receiver statistical categories, is not snatching passes on Sundays anymore, but he is crashing weddings most weekends.
Unlike Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in “Wedding Crashers,” Rice isn’t sneaking into receptions to hopefully get lucky. He crashed at least one per weekend in the Bay Area, where he says he’s just stopping by to congratulate couples on their big day.
“For some reason, it always turns out that they are so excited,” Rice said. “They want to take pictures, and I’m just happy to take pictures with them. It always turns out to be bigger than that.”
The Ringer reported that Rice has been known to make stops at wedding receptions following a round of golf at a club or resort where weddings take place, or sometimes when he’s away on business, since 2006. While the number of receptions he’s crashed remains unknown, Rice’s routine is pretty standard, from taking selfies with guests to hanging around with wedding parties. He doesn’t like to make the appearance about himself, but he does admit that it sometimes gets out of his control.
“It only takes one person in the room who recognizes me for everything to click,” Rice said. “I’m a little hesitant because I never know what’s going to happen when I walk into the wedding. But usually there’s one person who says, ‘Oh my god,’ and I come over and start taking pictures.”
Rice admitted that once the music gets going he can’t escape, especially when some guests will remember him not from his glorious playing days for the 49ers or the Raiders, but for his appearance on “Dancing with the Stars.”
Jennifer Restrani, whose wedding was recently crashed by Rice, said when Rice came to her big day, she turned into a fan-girl and dragged him into the bridal suite, where she confessed her fanhood for the 49ers.
“The best was when my mother-in-law was kissing Jerry Rice,” Restrani said. “My husband went over to his dad and said, ‘Dad, mom is kissing Jerry Rice,’ and his dad just nodded and said ‘It’s OK.’”