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Jerry Rice criticizes Patriots for cheating, admits to using stickum on his gloves

Maybe don't criticize someone else for cheating the same month you admit to cheating yourself.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Like many experts and former NFL players, legendary San Francisco 49ers receiver Jerry Rice weighed in on the New England Patriots' DeflateGate controversy following their victory in the AFC Championship against the Indianapolis Colts.

Rice, one of the greatest players to ever play the game, certainly has a qualified opinion about all things to do with the NFL, but he kind of went ahead and put his foot in his mouth with this latest one.

Rice said that the Patriots were clearly cheating, because they had "an edge up on your opponent." He said while the outcome of the game probably wouldn't have been different, they still had that edge, via an interview on the Jim Rome Show. In other words, there should be an asterisk next to New England's Super Bowl title.

The problem is that Rice, who has multiple receiving records in the NFL and some Super Bowl rings of his own, was recently part of an ESPN look at the evolution of NFL gloves and admitted to using stickum himself. Rice said in the video, "I know this might be a little illegal guys, I just put a little spray, a little stickum on 'em, to make sure that texture is a little sticky."

It's not exactly a shocking revelation that Rice has at least tried it once. This isn't the first time he's mentioned it. But it's pretty silly to see him admitting to breaking what is, today, a very serious NFL rule shortly before criticizing the Patriots for something that ultimately probably meant very little to the actual game, given that the balls were taken out of rotation.

The gloves of Rice's day were inferior to today's gloves, admittedly, and it seems as though it was illegal in the same way that the spit ball is illegal in baseball -- more of a "nudge-nudge, wink-wink type of deal," as said by David Fucillo of Niners Nation. Still, it seems an awful lot of players and teams do whatever it takes to win, in a league that demands success, and any criticizing of another team's success from a moral high road will probably be hypocritical.

SB Nation presents: What happens when the NFL interviews a ball boy?