October 13, 2003

Jerry Rice, fortified gummy snacks touch down at University Bookstore

For $8.16 you too could have been chumming it up with Oakland Raider receiver Jerry Rice (for at least a minute or two). On October 4 the University of Chicago Bookstore hosted a special Jerry Rice appearance in which the NFL all-time leader in career receptions introduced his new line of fat-free, vitamin-fortified gummy snacks called Playmakers. With a purchase of five bags of Rice's snacks ($1.50 each), fans and students each received a warm handshake, photograph, and autograph from the legendary wide receiver. In town for the October 5 football game, Rice courteously waited and signed many fans' footballs, pictures, and bags of his Playmakers late into the afternoon.

Playmakers were created by Rice and his family physician, Nick Spirtos, who helped save the life of Rice's wife, Jackie, after near-fatal pregnancy complications. Since then, Rice and Spirtos have collaborated to create Playmakers, a healthy alternative snack. The gummy snacks contain 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance of folate and Vitamins A, D, C, E, B6, and B12.

Playmakers, recently released nationally this past July, will be exclusively sold at K-Mart stores but can also be purchased at the University's Barnes and Noble coffee shop. A portion of the profits will be donated to the Women's Cancer Center Research Foundation and the Jerry Rice 127 Foundation, which helps support the Bay Area Omega Boys Club.

At 41, Rice, who is considered to be the best receiver in league history, holds a slew of records including total number of touchdowns, most receiving yards and touchdowns in the Super Bowl, and currently is ranked in the top 15 league leaders for total receiving yards.