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PRO FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : NFC

Grbac to Brown: Don't Get Personal

November 14, 1996|Associated Press

Elvis Grbac received word Wednesday he would start for the 49ers in place of injured quarterback Steve Young, and then he had some words for his harshest critic, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.

Clearly trying to restrain his emotions, Grbac said he had no personal contact with Brown but accepted the mayor's apology--made in calls to local radio stations--over Brown's description of Grbac as "an embarrassment to humankind."

"I thought it was kind of below the belt and it was maybe a little too personal, even if he didn't know anything about my situation with my son," said Grbac, whose 9-month-old child has spina bifida. "I think it was really uncalled for, just out of respect for somebody else."

"I don't know whether he will accept my apology, or whether or not he will forgive me. I just hope to hell he will," Brown told KGO radio. "But I will say a prayer for his son."

Grbac said he wouldn't hold a grudge but he also flashed some anger when asked what he would say if he met the mayor.

"It would be hard to shake his hand, I'll tell you that, just because what my wife and kid have gone through," Grbac said. "I'm going to try to be the bigger man and not worry about it and concentrate on what I have to do. It's over with. It hurt my family and we'll get over it."

Young's neurologist, Dr. Joseph Lacy, and team physician James Klint both advised Young to sit out after he suffered a second concussion in three weeks.

Young, sidelined for all or part of seven games because of injury this season, said he anticipated sitting out only this week.

"I feel great," Young said. "I talked to the neurologist and he saw how good I felt."

*

The Minnesota Vikings are making changes.

Brad Johnson will start at quarterback for the injured Warren Moon on Sunday at Oakland, David Dixon will replace struggling John Gerak at right guard and Leroy Hoard will be the starting running back for the Vikings, who have averaged 25 yards on the ground the last three games.

"Hopefully the changes will be good, but I don't think one particular spot or two particular spots are what's been costing us," Johnson said Wednesday. "All of us have been taking turns making mistakes."

Moon, who turns 40 on Monday, will miss his third start of the season after missing only one in his first 33 games with Minnesota. He has been plagued since the second quarter of the season opener by a right ankle injury that is healing slowly.

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