San Francisco wide receiver Dwight Clark was interrupted during an interview this morning by a tall man in a Cincinnati Bengals jacket, standing behind him and out of Clark's sight.
"People are questioning your heterosexuality," said Pat McInally, the Bengals punter who is covering Super Bowl XIX for the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Clark turned to face his inquisitor with a semishocked look on his face, then immediately recognized McInally -- and quickly came back by telling a dozen reporters he enjoyed playing against the Bengals.
"Their kicking game is terrible," Clark said.
McInally shot back: "I never wore gloves for an interview."
Seems Clark was wearing a pair of heavy rubber gloves he has used all season. He says he first noticed them when the 49ers played the Washington Redskins this season and Charlie Brown was wearing a pair.
They essentially are scuba-diving gloves. "They take the sting out of the ball," Clark said. "They also take the sting out when you have to hit someone with your hands. And when you catch the ball, it holds the leather real well, a real good grip on it."
Clark was asked about a story in today's San Francisco Chronicle concerning the fate of a number of players from the 1982 Super Bowl championship team. Thirteen are no longer in football, and Clark said they simply could not handle the notoriety and fast life that followed.
"People would offer you money, cars and worse," Clark said. "What's worse, you'd be at a bar, and people would want you to go to their cars and get involved in heavy drugs. Some people just got caught up in it, the hype of being Super Bowl champions. Most people knew how to handle it. Those who couldn't aren't here anymore."
San Francisco linebacker Jack (Hacksaw) Reynolds was asked about the 49ers' specialized defense that includes substitutions for almost every down-and-distance situation. "The whole thing around the country these days is specialization," he said. "The auto industry, doctors . . . across the board. It's an era of specialization."
Reynolds, by the way, has press releases out telling how he acquired his nickname.
Glad you asked. In the late 1960s, as a member of the Tennessee football team, Reynolds got so upset by a 36-0 loss to Ole Miss that he sawed a rusted 1953 Chevy in two.