SAN DIEGO — That Vance Johnson, he is one embarrassed amigo.
The Denver Bronco wide receiver opened Super Bowl Week Monday by announcing he has been fined $500 for missing medical treatment to film a video based on the "Three Amigos" moniker that he and fellow Bronco receivers Mark Jackson and Ricky Nattiel have adopted.
Johnson was in the hospital on Jan. 17 when Denver won the American Football Conference championship over the Cleveland Browns. He had suffered a torn artery in his groin. Just three days later, he was back in the saddle, which should have thrilled the Broncos to tears, except he was \o7 really \f7 back in a saddle. He spent the day riding around on a horse, filming the video, and never made it back to town for his treatment with Bronco trainer Steve Antonopulos.
Proving you really can't just ride off into the sunset anymore, just before the Broncos moved out for San Diego Monday morning, Johnson was fined.
"Coach (Dan) Reeves called me in and said, 'Vance, you know why you are here, you know you've done wrong,' " Johnson recalled. "And he was right. I was wrong. I violated a team rule and should have been punished."
"He was fined for breaking team policy," Reeves reiterated. "He was not fined for the video."
By the sounds of this video, maybe he should have been.
Coming soon to a teen-ager's television set near you, the MTV-style short features the three receivers riding on horses to San Diego. They pass through a hostile town chock-full of bad guys. They hit the bad guys with dirty looks that somehow transform into film clips of their great catches.
And the song?
"The song is 'Touchdown Banditos,' " Johnson said.
Speaking of football, which Johnson does occasionally, the third-year receiver says he plans to play Sunday. However, he has yet to practice and his upper leg still feels "sore and swollen."
"I've got to be optimistic about this, and say if there's any way I can be out there, I will," he said. "I can't doubt myself."
The company line is wait and see.
"We'll probably work him (today), but probably not as hard as we'd normally work him" said Reeves, who said he would list Johnson as 'questionable.'
"If he has no problems, we'd increase him on Wednesday, which is our normal offensive day. We're hoping he's going to be OK."
As for the Amigo business, Johnson is so much of an Amigo, this week he's not even going to Tijuana.
"I signed this rental car contract that said, whatever you do, don't drive into Mexico," he said. "So I better not."
The first team to hit the town has been, not surprisingly, the first team to arrive in town. No sooner did the Redskins' charter jet land in San Diego Sunday night than a dozen players grabbed limousines and headed for Club Diego's, a trendy nightspot in Pacific Beach.
Not being the Chicago Bears, not only weren't the players bothered, they weren't even recognized until the disc jockey made a late announcement. The roster included offensive linemen Joe Jacoby, Jeff Bostic and Russ Grimm, and running backs George Rogers and Kelvin Bryant.
The Redskins brought the most players on a road trip in club history--their entire 68-man roster, which includes the five inactive players and all those on injured reserve. They brought so many players, the charter jet couldn't take off from D.C. It was too heavy. They had to unload a sizeable amount of luggage and ship it later. Unfortunately for the players who sleep in pajamas, their bags didn't arrive until Monday morning.
The players jokingly blamed the weight problem on the presence of injured reserve rookie tackle Wally Kleine, who happens to weigh 300 pounds. They later blamed Monday's minor earthquake on Kleine.
"He fell out of bed," guard Russ Grimm said.
Today at Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood, Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon is scheduled for arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder, according to Bear public relations director Ken Valdiserri. The surgery, to be performed by Dr. Frank Jobe, will clean up bone chips and various other remnants of McMahon's reconstructive shoulder surgery of Dec. 12, 1986. "We're not sure if he'll require an overnight stay," Valdiserri said.
Redskin quarterback Doug Williams was asked about his Super Bowl dream play. An 80-yard bomb on fourth-and-long to win the game, perhaps?
'Third and goal from the one," Williams said. "I hand the ball to George Rogers for a touchdown."
"Hey, I just want to win."
Redskin defensive end Dexter Manley strolled into the week's first mass interview session Monday wearing blue runner's tights with brown French shoes, and sunglasses, surrounded by headphones leading to a yellow walkman.
Although he spoke for 30 minutes, mostly nonstop, he refused to be bolted down to a prediction.
"I'm not Jimmy the Greek," he said, smiling.
Times staff writer Marc Appleman contributed to this story.