Norton Jr., dad fighting outside ring NFC notebook

January 26, 1993|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

PASADENA, Calif. -- It could be one of those heart-warming father-and-son Super Bowl stories.

Linebacker Ken Norton Jr., the son of the former boxer, has a chance to become a champion in his own right Sunday when the Dallas Cowboys play the Buffalo Bills.

But Norton Jr. won't have his father cheering him Sunday. He won't even talk to or about his father.

They had a falling out last spring, and the rift hasn't been healed.

"I don't have much of a comment," he said last night, when he was asked about his father. Last week, he said he wouldn't discuss his father during Super Bowl week.

There were reports in Los Angeles that Norton and his father had a disagreement shortly before the Dallas linebacker was married last spring. Norton wound up not inviting his father to the wedding in Lake Tahoe.

Last night, Norton would say only that his father discouraged him from going into boxing.

"He didn't like the business," Norton said. "My father was very strong. He didn't want me to be a fighter."

At one time, Norton and his father were very close. When the ex-boxer suffered a fractured skull, jaw and leg in a 1986 traffic accident, his son helped him in his rehabilitation.

That's all changed now.

Norton Sr. told a Los Angeles reporter that he watches all of his VTC son's games on television, but hasn't seen any in person and won't come to the Super Bowl even though he

lives less than an hour away.

* Both teams practiced yesterday and will be off today except for taking part in media picture day.

* Jimmy Johnson, the Dallas coach, has no lack of confidence. Replying to the statement of Buffalo coach Marv Levy that the Bills are really America's Team, Johnson said, "If they think they're America's team, then we'll beat America's Team on Sunday."

When Johnson was asked if he has any scholarly pursuits, he said: "I spend a lot of time with football. I'm not into English literature. I know Marv Levy has done a lot of work in that field."

Levy earned a masters degree in English history at Harvard.

Johnson has a psychology degree from the University of Arkansas and is interested in the field when he can apply it to football.

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