Times-Advocate from Escondido, California on November 28, 1988 · 17
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Times-Advocate from Escondido, California · 17

Escondido, California
Issue Date:
Monday, November 28, 1988
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Times-Advocate Business Monday, November 28, 1988 A day of tribute turns onto Bob Gaines T-A Sports writer Old No. 1 4 charms fans one last time SAN DIEGO Dan Fouts walked the field one final time Sunday. As always, the moment was electric. Fouts wasnt carrying a football, just a microphone. And he wasnt commanding his team, just talking with the 55,000 fans who had gathered in his honor. They had greeted him with a thunderous ovation that seemed to rekindle a lost emotion from finer days. Fouts looked stronger and more relaxed than we had seen him in quite some time. Evidently,, retirement has been kind. Id like to walk the field again with you, said Fouts as he left the makeshift podium at the 30-yard line. Id like to get the feel of it again ... it feels darn good. So many times Ive been down on this field and I wanted to tell you what a great feeling it was. To be a quarterback on this field with this team in front of you fans. I wanted to tell you why I threw that interception. The crowd laughed. There were 249 of those interceptions in Fouts 15-year career with the Chargers, but all was forgiven on this special day. . Fouts was now moving untouched to midfield, still talking to the fans: Every Sunday, we gave our best. Big Louie, J.J., Big Ed, Kellen and Wes Last names were not necessary. We knew those guys. And we also knew that Fouts was once again shifting the glory from himself to his old teammates. What about that catch J.J. made right in that end zone? Fouts bellowed as he pointed to the southwest corner of the field. And the crowd remembered that miracle catch by Jefferson. How could they forget? Once again, the old Charger quarterback was successfully per- bean M HafteyTne Times Advocate Roger Craig and the San Francisco 49ers rolled over the Chargers on Dan Fouts Day. forming finely orchestrated high drama. Could we expect anything less from The Beard? To me, more than anything, its the guys that played on this field that made it worthwhile, he continued. Im proud to be a Charger. And now, Im proud to be a Charger fan. At the halftime of a 48-10 wipeout by the 49ers, the Chargers re tired Fouts jersey No. 14. For the fans, it was the best show of the day. Chargers owner Alex Spanos officially retired the jersey. Spanos, who was booed mercilessly by the fans (but thats another story), called Fouts one of the all-time greats in the NFL. And then he proclaimed that No. 14 will never again be worn by another Charger player. Spanos presented the jersey to Bob Breitbard, founder of the San Diego Hall of Champions. Well hold this jersey in trust until the time it will go to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, said Breitbard. Fouts could be inducted into ' Please see Gaines, page C2 Dan Fouts Day is spoiled by red-hot 49ers offense By Jay Posner Times Advocate Sporlswriter SAN DIEGO On this day, his day, even Dan Fouts might not have helped. But that didnt stop many of the 51,484 fans who showed up Sunday at San Diego Stadium for Dan Fouts Day from dreaming about what was and what might have been. We want Fouts! We want Fouts! We want Fouts! was the chant after the halftime ceremony in which the Chargers retired Fouts No. 14. Instead, the fans got Mark Malone and Babe Laufenberg and the rest of the 1988 Chargers. The result was a 48-10 whipping by the San Francisco 49ers that officially eliminated the Chargers (4-9) from all playoff contention. It was the most points scored against the Chargers since Week 2 of 1985. Was this any way to treat a future Hall of Famer? I hope the Dan Fouts hoopla didnt make a difference, defensive lineman Joe Phillips said. Id hate to think this is the way we pay tribute to Dan. Ironically, the last time the Chargers lost a game by more than 38 points, Fouts was their starting quarterback. It was Oct. 21, 1973, and Fouts who didnt even have a beard then was a raw 22-year-old rookie. He completed 13 of 36 passes fur 99 yards and was intercepted four times as the Chargers lost 41-0 to Atlanta. The Chargers offense wasnt quite that bad Sunday. But it didnt exactly remind fans of Fouts glory days, which may be why several thousand of them left the game before the third quarter ended. There was even a report that club owner Alex Spanos who was vociferously booed by the crowd as he honored Fouts departed the stadium early in the fourth quarter. For his sake, hopefully Fouts left immediately following halftime, at which time the Chargers trailed 24-7. The defense was reminiscent of some of the teams on which Fouts played maybe even worse. The 48 points scored by the 49ers were the third-most ever scored against the Chargers in San Diego. In one span of 40V2 minutes starting early in the second quarter, the 49ers scored on seven straight possessions five touchdowns and two field goals. The only time San Diego stopped San Francisco in the final three quar- t, A3 Babe Laufenberg scrambles away from 49ers Jeff Fuller. ters was when the 49ers were running out the clock at the end of the game. They blew our doors off, Phillips said. We just got w hupped, thats all, safety Vencie Glenn said. W e just took a major whupping. We got whupped in every phase of the game. We could sit here and make all kinds of excuses, but the bottom line is we got beat by a better loot -ball team today. Said Chargers Coach A1 Saunders: We were beaten soundly by an outstanding football team. Their big-play people came through with some big plays. None bigger than a 96-yard touchdown pass from Joe Montana to Jerry Rice with 4:43 remaining in the first quarter the longest play in 49ers history. We had a lot of momentum up to that point, Phillips said. You hope something like that won t affect you; you try not to let it." But several Chargers felt the play did turn around the game. I really think we played flat the rest of the day, cornerback Gill Byrd said. The Chargers defense had held San Francisco without a first dow n on each of its first two possessions, and the 49ers began their third drive at their own 4-yard line. On first down, Montana dropped back into his own end zone and, just before he was hit by Please see Chargers, page C2 Sockers fade into last place By Tod Leonard Times Advocate Sportswriter SAN DIEGO Steve Zungul returned to the Sockers for the first time in nearly three years Sunday night, only to discover that this is not the same team that he remembers it to be. Zungul came to San Diego hungry for nostalgia, but hes going to have to dig out the videotape of his IV2 half seasons with the Sockers in 1984-86, because those days are long gone. The delicate one-touch passing around the penalty area is infrequent, and so is the lightning-quick counterattack. It has been replaced by a scrappy, sometimes sloppy, run-and-blast style that the lesfer teams in the MISL used to employ. A lot of this new method depends on the luck of the bounce and the Sockers have had no such good fortune lately. They outshot Tacoma 37-17 Sunday, but lost to the Stars for the second straight night by a 4-3 count in overtime, this time in front of 6,326 at the Sports Arena. Godrey Ingrams second goal of the match was the game-winner at 9:22 of the first extra period. The loss'was San Diegos third straight and dropped the Sockers (2-5) into last place. It is the teams worst start since 1982-83, when it began the season 1-5. Zungul, who is still in need of training after just three weeks with the team, played sparingly as a midfielder in his return and didnt figure much in the offense. But he did notice how much his old team had changed. We were not very smart in front of the goal, he said. All we were doing was shooting, shooting. Its very hard to get into that style of game. I like the game one or two touches in front of the net. Maybe some of that style will return once Branko Segota, who has missed all but the opening game, comes back from his strained hamstring. But its strictly run-and-shoot for now. Sockers midfielder Brian Quinn came up with a perfect analogy to boxing. Its like were scoring all of the points, he said, and then they get the knockout. Indeed, it was the Stars (3-4) who made the most of their few chances. Preki scored on his teams first legitimate chance in the first period, Gerry Gray tallied from close range 27 seconds into the fourth period and Ingram notched the all-important equalizer with 1:45 left to send the game to OT. And then there was the winning goal. Tacoma forward Peter Ward squeezed between Sockers defenders Kevin Crow and Ralph Black along the right boards before passing through Quinns legs in the box to Ingram, who beat goalie Zoltan Toth with a low shot. Peter was good enough to get out of that trouble on the boards and knock a perfect pass to me, said Ingram. All I had to do was redirect the ball. Said Crow, Sometimes when you double-team a guy, you each relax because you think the other guy is going to apply the pressure. The next thing you know, the guy has gotten by you. It was Crow who had scored the Sockers go-ahead goal short-handed, no less to give San Die- Please see Sockers, page C3 -we Sean M Halley, ine limes Advocate Tacomas P.J. Johns notches one of his 27 saves. The old pros shut out Strange in the Skins Game a U7;u rorrv-ovprs. he won 12 hole. I was iust happy to b LA QUINTA (AP) It was a good day for the old guys. Ray Floyd won the most money, $290,000. Lee Trevino mastered his favorite hole again. Jack Nick-laus resurrected his golfing life at the Skins Game. For 33-year-old Curtis Strange, it was a lost weekend. I got what I deserved, Strange, the reigning U.S. Open champion, said ,after he was shut out of the money-winnings. Earlier, Strange had praised Nicklaus, Trevino and Floyd as three of the greatest players the game has known. Each has been or will be my Ryder Cup captain. And, he jibed, each is old enough to be my father. After saying that, I get shut out so I guess I got what I deserved, Strange said Sunday. Strange, the 1988 Player of the Year and the first man to go over $1 million in single-season earnings on the PGA Tour, was a heavy favorite in the two-day, four-man, made-for-television Skins Game. But for 17 holes he didnt make a birdie and didnt win a hole. On the 18th at PGA West, he rolled in a 40-footer for birdie, but Trevino dropped a shorter one in on top of it to tie the hole and send the Skins' Game into overtime. Floyd, 46, won the first extra hole with a 15-foot birdie putt that was worth $35,000. That went with $165,000 he picked up on the 16th hole and the $90,000 he won Saturday to make him the winner in his first Skins Game appearance and assure him of a spot in the four-man field next year. From tee to green, thats the best Ive played in several years," Floyd said. I made several birdies and I made them at the right time. But I think the important thing was that I was in a lot of holes. It seemed like evei7 time I was over a putt, it was to tie or win the hole, Floyd said. With the carry-overs, he won 12 of the 18 skins. Nicklaus won five, Trevino one. Trevino, 48, who won the Skins Game in 1987 with the highlight of a hole-in-one on the 17th, was in danger of being shut out this time until he made an across-the-green putt for birdie-2 on the same 17th hole. It was worth $35,000. Nicklaus, 48, won a total of $125,000, including $50,000 for a birdie on the 11th hole. It really didnt matter, Nicklaus said. , We all want to win, to be first, he said. For maybe the first time in my life, I didn't care if I won a hole. I was just happy to be playing. A month ago, said Nicklaus, who has been plagued by increasing trouble with his back, I didnt know what my future was. 1 When youre hurting, your mind isnt rational. I was thinking what if I cant play again? What if its over? I didnt know what was going to happen, he said. Treatment and exercises have solved the problem, he said. The last two days I played without pain for the first time in a long, long time. It was a joy. I was delighted just to be playing. I feel like a new man, he said. ( . Elway lifts Broncos past Rams DENVER (AP) - The sight of No. 7 leaping toward the goal line and slamming into defenders must have sent shivers up Denver Broncos Coach Dan Reeves spine. Ill-advised? Perhaps. But quarterback John Elways aggressiveness proved infectious and just the tonic the Broncos needed as they knocked off the Los Angeles Rams 35-24 Sunday. Elway threw three touchdown passes, two of them in a span of just 15 seconds in the third quarter, as Denver recaptured the quick-striking ability it had been missing for most of this season. Elway ran for another score, diving over the top from one yard out. He set up his TD run with a 21-yard scramble, diving for the goal line but coming up just short as he was knocked to the ground by two defenders. Later, he broke loose for an 11-yard gain on a quarterback draw, bulling his way into a defender instead of sliding safely to a stop or running out of bounds I kind of wanted to do that, Elway said. We had lost our aggressiveness, so I wanted to show some. I dont think you can be overaggressive. I just wanted to le a football player. I dont think I did anything unnecessary. Reeves called the victory humungous. We had to win the game to stay alive. Rams Coach John Robinson said third-quarter turnovers, which contributed to three straight Denver scores, took us out of the game. We were confident at halftime that we were doing good things and that we were going to control the second half. We gave the game away. Were a very charitable football team. I guess we just want to make everyone else happy. With the victory, the Broncos, 7-6, drew momentarily into a halfgame lead in the AFC West over Please see Rams, page C2 T ' 1

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