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Inaugural MVP Jerry Rice Celebrates 25th Annual Circle City Classic with Return to Indianapolis; Future NFL Hall of Famer to receive Chase Major Taylor Award September 4, 2008

Posted by ICVA Communications in Events.

Future NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, who earned Most Valuable Player honors at the inaugural Circle City Classic, will receive the Chase Major Taylor Award in Indianapolis as part of the 25th Annual American Family Insurance Classic Weekend. The 2008 edition of the Circle City Classic will feature the Alabama A&M University Bulldogs and the Tuskegee University Golden Tigers in Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday, October 4.

Rice, who will also serve as the Grand Marshal of the American Family Insurance Classic Parade, will be honored with the Chase Major Taylor Award at the Indianapolis Colts Classic Coaches Luncheon on Friday, October 3. Tickets to all Classic events are available by calling the Circle City Classic office at (317) 237-5222.

The Chase Major Taylor Award, named in honor of prominent Indianapolis cyclist Marshall “Major” Taylor, is a tribute to African-American athletes, coaches, athletic administrators and officials who have made significant local and national contributions to youth while encouraging excellence in future generations.

“We are honored to have Jerry Rice return to Indianapolis as the 2008 Chase Major Taylor Award winner,” said James Perkins, chair of the Major Taylor Award committee. “Jerry, along with his Mississippi Valley State teammates, generated an excitement at the first Circle City Classic that continues today. There is no better way to celebrate our 25th Classic than by honoring our most successful Classic alum.”

Rice earned MVP honors in the 1984 Circle City Classic as he led Mississippi Valley State to a 48-36 win over Grambling State, finishing with eight receptions for 174 yards and two touchdowns. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers (16th overall) the following year.

In his 20-year NFL career, Rice set 38 NFL records, was voted to 13 Pro Bowls, and won three Super Bowls (XXIII, XXIV, and XIX). His numerous accolades include the Super Bowl XXIII MVP, 1995 Pro Bowl MVP, and NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team Member. Rice accumulated NFL records of 1,549 receptions for 22,895 yards and a total of 208 touchdowns during his NFL career.

“It is an extreme honor to have someone the caliber of Jerry Rice return to the Classic,” said William Mays, co-chairman, Circle City Classic. “I was at the first Classic game and could tell he was a special player who would enjoy a successful career. It is fitting to have him back as we celebrate our 25th anniversary.”

“We are honored to have had a legendary athlete such as Jerry Rice be a part of the Circle City Classic during the inaugural game,” Indiana Black Expo President and CEO Tanya Bell said. “It’s truly a blessing to have him return to celebrate the 25th Anniversary with us in the new Lucas Oil Stadium.” 

Past recipients of the Major Taylor Award are: Ray Crowe (1987), James Perkins (1988), Anita DeFrantz (1989), Eddie Robinson (1990), Bill Brooks (1991), Dr. LeRoy Walker (1992), Clarence “Big House” Gaines (1993), Florence Griffith Joyner (1994), Mel Blount (1995), Reggie Williams (1996), Doug Williams (1997), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1998), Carolyn Peck (1999), Earl Woods (2000), Daniel Boggan, Jr. (2001), Mike Davis (2002), Muhammad Ali and Rev. Charles Williams (2003), George McGinnis (2004), Dominique Dawes (2005), Shani Davis (2006), and Tamika Catchings and Tony Dungy (2007).


John Dedman, Indiana Sports Corporation – (317) 237-5016

Justin Bryant, Indiana Sports Corporation – (317) 237-5028

Rachele Salary, Indiana Black Expo – (317) 923-3042

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