SAN DIEGO, FEB. 1 -- Doug Williams couldn't bend his left knee today if his life depended on it, and -- of course -- it didn't. Sunday, though, the Super Bowl depended on it and not only did Doug Williams bend his knee, he bent and broke the Denver Broncos defense with 340 yards and four touchdowns passing in a 42-10 Washington Redskins rout.

Presented Sunday with a knee brace, today he was handed two trophies -- one that sits on a mantelpiece and one that sits in a garage. Barely able to stand without propping himself against a lectern or his new Subaru, Williams jingled his car keys and smiled for the cameras, wearing his usual casual look -- sneaks, jeans and a sweatshirt.

The magnitude of the Super Bowl MVP award clearly hadn't hit him yet, but that didn't stop the questions on that subject. First question from the gallery was a shout, "Doug, coming off your performance yesterday, could you address the potential for cashing in on endorsements?"

He merely shrugged and said he'd never been a Joe Namath before and that he'd certainly "roll with the punches like I always have."

That done, someone asked him if his book would be out by training camp, but he said there'd be no book in the works, not at least until retirement. Bending his knee was a higher priority.

"Haven't been to sleep yet, because of the pain and all the visitors," he said today, though there'd be plenty time for shut-eye on the five-hour plane ride back to Dulles.

Actually, the only visitors crammed into his room late Sunday night were his mother, his sisters and brothers, plus his former coach at Grambling, Eddie Robinson, and Robinson's wife. His father, Robert Sr., was home in Zachary, La. -- in a wheelchair -- but Williams would be by his side soon, he said, as soon as he takes care of business.

Business entails a parade in Washington on Wednesday, a trip to New York for another MVP ceremony and a day of apartment-packing in Reston. While Jim McMahon -- the Chicago Bears quarterback and 1985 Super Bowl MVP -- immediately hit the banquet and endorsement circuit, Williams is more likely to hang out in Zachary, where scaled-down commotion awaits.

Zachary Mayor John A. Womack had a parade planned for Williams, win or lose, and the big day is set for next week sometime, whenever Williams says he's ready. Williams expects to be down there a week from Tuesday or Wednesday, though with Zachary parades, he said, you can expect the tape without the ticker.

"Probably won't last but a minute or so," Williams said with a chuckle.

A full day later, the Super Bowl hadn't completely sunk in, though it really shouldn't have anyway. Four touchdown passes in one quarter is beyond even Johnny Unitas' wildest dreams, and Williams didn't bank on it happening, not after his Friday night toothache, not after his left knee got twisted every which way late in the first quarter.

Of the toothache, which attacked him Friday after practice, he said: "I had no pain during the game. The pain came up Friday night after I went out to eat and came back and had a pain. I had a bridge, and, see, I went to doctor Saturday after practice and found out that it was about to be abscessed . . .

"That was only a toothache," he said today. "I've played with my jaw wired shut."

As for the knee, he thinks it was scar tissue from an old injury that popped loose. It scared him, of course, but it would frighten anyone to feel a vicious amount of heat in your knee. The Redskins sent him back out there, though, with a pat on the back, and all he did was throw for an 80-yard score on his first snap. Soon, he was throwing off one leg, but, one leg must be better than two because he'd never had a game like this, never a second quarter like this.

"I haven't even been in a {half of} a basketball game like that," he said, referring to the Redskins' 35 second-quarter points.

If the Redskins had a game to play next week, Williams would be listed as questionable -- "It'd be day-to-day," he said -- but he has a parade in his hometown instead, for which he is probable. He imagines everyone in Zachary will be there, not to mention people from nearby Baton Rouge and Clinton.

As the throng of media waited on his every word today, it was easy to see emotion in Doug Williams, the same type of emotion that brought tears in November when Coach Joe Gibbs chose Jay Schroeder over Williams, saying something about Schroeder being a hot quarterback.

Nobody's hotter than Williams now, but Williams remembers a much colder time. It was ironic today that an old friend from his days as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer grabbed onto him and wouldn't let go. "Do you still live down in Tampa?" he asked, as polite as could be.

Lest anyone forget, he had virtually been run out of Tampa, never quite accepted by the community or the coaches, known as an erratic, strong-armed, whimsical quarterback. Yet, here he was.

Lest anyone forget, he had been raised in a modest environment in Zachary. The sight of his Subaru was grand, but he remembered today when he first went to enroll at Grambling as a freshman and had to take a bus. He remembers it was Continental Trailways, and it didn't get there as quick as Continental Airlines would.

"Probably 8 or 9 dollars one way," he said.

Lest anyone forget, Williams has met another league, going to the U.S. Football League after he left Tampa Bay, and met tragedy, his first wife dying less than a year after their wedding. All this was why today was a significant day in the life of Doug Williams, though he chose to go through with it calmly.

Suddenly, he was next year's starting quarterback heading into training camp, and people were asking him about his relationship with Schroeder.

"Jay and I didn't room together or go to lunch together before all of this," Williams said. "Before all of this, no one ever asked about me and Jay's relationship."

Doug Williams thought he'd seen a lot in life, but he'd never seen a scene like today's. Like a conquering hero -- he was helped into today's news conference by two people, his arm wrapped around one of them for support. He limped a horrible limp. Trying to get up on the podium, he nearly tripped because his knee had all the flexiblity of a log. He grimaced in pain for an instant, but then somebody handed him the keys.

Afterward, he was escorted off, his arms locked with two others, so he could make it without falling. If it seems dramatic, it was. Somebody ought to make a movie of it, but Sylvester Stallone already made "Rocky."

And to top it all off, Doug Williams didn't leave the premises in a Continental bus or even his Subaru. Instead, a limo -- the long kind they drive in Texas -- raced him off to the airport. There was plenty of room to stretch his knee.