Monday, Nov. 7, 1994

49ers add hot dog to Rice to concoct a win

By Tom Friend
New York Times News Service

WASHINGTON -- They squeezed in their aerobic workout, their players reported not a single wound and their All-World receiver discovered a new energy food.

The San Francisco 49ers began contemplating Dallas as early as yesterday's third quarter, scoring on the Washington Redskins in blurs, and now their countdown to the Cowboys is seven days and ticking.

"It's a game I pointed out on the calendar the day I signed," said former Cowboys linebacker Ken Norton, who jumped ship last winter to San Francisco.

Four of the 49ers' touchdowns yesterday were virtual wind sprints, and the 37-22 final score was deceiving in that half the players had their shoulder pads off by the fourth quarter. The lead was actually 37-6 with just over 14 minutes to play, and the 49ers are only sorry they do not have Jimmy Johnson to kick around.

Wide receiver Jerry Rice was actually famished yesterday morning, after carelessly eating only fruit for breakfast. On the game's first series, he was assaulted just under the chin by Redskins safety Martin Bayless -- and doubled over -- and he later nursed an oxygen mask in the second half.

"I made the worst mistake of my career," Rice said. "I didn't eat well before the game and didn't have much to burn on the field."

Then, as the third quarter expired, someone on the staff slipped him a micky. "Actually," Rice said, "I ate a hot dog. It kicked in just like that."

Not more than a minute later, he swerved 28 yards on a reverse for a touchdown, opening the 49ers' lead to 31 points.

"What brand of hot dog?" 49ers president Carmen Policy asked. "Come on. We're a higher class organization than that. We feed them quiche. Or sour dough with lox. A variety of vegetables with Monterey Jack cheese. A hot dog? I'm aghast."

On the field, as well, the 49ers had a number of opportunities to hotdog it. Late in the first quarter, for instance, quarterback Steve Young found tight end Brent Jones so in the clear that Jones had time to count to 10 and still score. His 69-yard touchdown was the longest jaunt of his bright career.

Still, Washington trailed only 17-3 in the third quarter and faced third-and-6 at the San Francisco 21 when rookie Gus Frerotte threw a misguided slant pattern.

The ball stuck to safety Tim McDonald's left paw, and he took it 73 yards the other way. Not more than five minutes later, Dexter Carter went merrily on a 96-yard kickoff return, and coach George Seifert pointed Young, Rice and associates to the bench.

"Yes, that's when I began thinking about Dallas," McDonald said. "But I started thinking about them the day after we played them last year."