I love the bugs-eye camera angle in this card photo that makes it look like Ricky Proehl is soaring through the air in a white-boy version of the Nike Jumpman pose. Meanwhile, he is only about two inches above the tallest blade of freshly cut grass, Umbros blowing in the wind over his spandex biker shorts.
Proehl is from the era where good white receivers were as scarce as white tigers. Before the likes of Riley Cooper, white NFL receivers were cherished, from Steve Largent to Ricky Proehl to Wayne Chrebet to Joe Jurevicius, just to name a few.
Proehl was never the number one receiving option on his team, but he had a knack for making huge plays at key moments. In the 1999 NFC championship versus the Buccaneers, Proehl caught the game-winning touchdown for the “Greatest Show on Turf” Rams. Ricky earned one of his two Super Bowl rings that year, the second coming in Super Bowl XLI with the Colts in 2006, his final NFL season. Proehl made two more clutch plays in his two Super Bowl losses, catching game tying touchdowns with under two minutes to play in both Super Bowl XXXVI with the Rams and Super Bowl XXXVIII with the Panthers. Neither was enough to hold off the Patriots as Adam Vinatieri made last second field goals to win both contests.
Even more important than his NFL career, Ricky Proehl could hold his own in Tecmo Super Bowl for anyone adventurous enough to play as the Phoenix Cardinals, though he wasn’t quite good enough to make our Tecmo Super Bowl Offensive Big Board. He has sure hands, but runs slower than molasses. Ricky Proehl’s awesomeness coupled with his slow running speed has inspired Tecmo Super Bowl enthusiasts to create the Ricky Proehl Reverse Challenge that requires gamers to lead the Cards to a Super Bowl win while running a reverse to Ricky Proehl for every offensive play of the entire season.