Young lays down law for 49ers

January 25, 1995|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Writer

MIAMI -- These are scary times for Steve Young.

"I'm very afraid of it," Young said yesterday.

He's not talking about the pressure of being the San Francisco 49ers' starting quarterback in Super Bowl XXIX on Sunday.

"The only thing I'm truly afraid of, I think, right now, is the bar," he said with a smile.

He's talking about the bar exam.

Even though he's a graduate of the Brigham Young University Law School -- he's a great-great-great grandson of Brigham Young -- he hasn't tackled the bar exam.

When Young does go into legal work, he doesn't want to research cases.

"I want to be in the courtroom screaming at the judge trying to get something done," Young said.

Young, noted for his mild-mannered style in the past, found out it can be a plus to do some screaming this season.

His outburst on the sidelines when coach George Seifert pulled him during a 40-8 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles changed the perception, if not the reality, of Steve Young. Seifert pulled him because he didn't want Young to take more of a pounding. Seifert apologized for the move.

The incident, though, changed Young's reputation. Young apparently stifled his personality in the years when he sat behind Joe Montana.

"Perception is nine-tenths of the law," Young said. "Reality is nothing. Now, I know how the president gets elected. It's perception, not reality. After the Philadelphia game, when I was screaming at the coach, it's like Steve Young is a fiery competitor. Oh, OK, if that's what came out, that's great."

In retrospect, Young said, he wasn't screaming so much at Seifert, but at the situation.

"I lost my mind. I challenged him [Seifert] to a fight," he said.

Did he really challenge the coach?

"No, not really. I was upset at the way we played," he said. "I really wasn't screaming at him as I was screaming at myself. We were walking on eggshells. Everybody said we were a team of destiny. I was just screaming at the sky, at the football gods to help this team come together."

The screaming didn't have an immediate impact, though.

The next week, trailing 14-0 on the road against the Detroit Lions, Young thought he had blown out his knee and almost crawled off the field.

"We closed the gap at halftime to 14-14, and we went on to win," he said. "I don't think the team has looked back since. I think that was probably where we saw bottom and said, 'No, this isn't us,' and we've run from it ever since."

This is Young's third trip to the Super Bowl. The first two were as Montana's caddy, but Young said he's not overwhelmed being the No. 1 quarterback in the big game.

"It doesn't seem that big. I don't know if there's a super Super Bowl," he said.

Even now, he seems to be overshadowed by some of the more flamboyant members of the team, notably Deion Sanders.

Sanders drew a much bigger crowd of reporters than Young did yesterday at media day at Joe Robbie Stadium, and Young just joked about it.

He looked over at Sanders at one point and said, "What is Deion saying that's so interesting?"

Young was told one of the things Sanders was saying was that Young is the "the best quarterback pretty much to play the game."

Young replied: "I knew I liked that guy Deion. There's one thing about Deion. He's intelligent, he's smart, he's honest and he never overpraises."

When Young was asked if he has talked with Montana since the playoffs started, he said, "We don't . . ." and then he caught himself.

He apparently didn't want to say they don't speak to each other.

Young then added, "We haven't spoken since the season was over."

Young will spend a lot of time answering questions about Montana this week, but he said it's an old issue.

"To me, I think we left that as a team a couple of years ago. Not just now, but long in the past," he said.

It's Young's team now.

"I decided to quit answering that question with a lot of words," Young said. "I just go, 'Yeah.' "

Young will try to prove it one more time in the Super Bowl. Even if he has to do some screaming.

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