Harbaugh can play part of unruly Chargers QB, too

On The NFL

November 21, 1999|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,SUN STAFF

Jim Harbaugh likes to take all all comers.

The feisty ex-Raven once broke a bone in his hand taking on former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly because he didn't like something Kelly said about him on TV. Harbaugh was at it again last week.

He went after San Diego teammate Michael Dumas during and after the Chargers' 28-9 loss to the Oakland Raiders.

With just under 12 minutes to play, they got into a shouting match on the field after Harbaugh threw an incomplete pass on fourth-and-10 at the Oakland 31.

They then got into it again in the tunnel after the game and had to be separated.

"They were tussling," coach Mike Riley said. "I don't know if it came to blows."

Both players then went into damage control and apologized.

Dumas said: "It's behind us now. It's frustrating losing four in a row, and our competitive spirits got the best of us. But I wouldn't expect anything less from him [than to] voice his opinion. It's unfortunate it was caught on film."

Harbaugh said: "It was like two brothers who squawk at each other. When it was over, we put our arms around each other, hugged and there's probably a bond that's there now that wasn't there and maybe wouldn't have been there."

But linebacker Junior Seau, who had to pull them apart, said: "It's really embarrassing us as a team. We don't like to see any of our players and family members having a conversation like that in front of millions of people. It doesn't need to be like that. We don't need to expose our dirty laundry out there on the street."

Maybe it's got something to do with playing quarterback for the Chargers.

Harbaugh was supposed to be the mature veteran who was going to tutor Ryan Leaf.

Instead, Harbaugh wound up pulling a page out of the Leaf book.

Admitting guilt

It's probably not a coincidence that the St. Louis Rams will give Leonard Little his first action today in a road game, against the San Francisco 49ers.

When they activated him but didn't play him in a home game last week, Mothers Against Drunk Driving protested his return. He had served an eight-game suspension for killing a woman while driving drunk.

Little pleaded guilty in June to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 90 nights in jail, but was free during the day.

Little said of MADD's action: "I totally support that 100 percent. That's what the group is there for -- for situations like this. I have nothing negative to say to MADD because this is the situation: I admitted my guilt."

He said he hopes the family of the woman who was killed can forgive him.

"I read in the Bible the other day that God forgives all. After this accident, I got down on my knees and prayed to God that they would forgive me," he said.

He said he would like to meet the family of the woman who was killed.

"That's one thing I want to do before I leave this Earth. That's one of my main objectives, to sit down and talk or whatever. I want them to know the real me, and that what I did was a mistake," he said.

The family has filed a civil suit against him.


It's going to be interesting to see what the Cincinnati Bengals call in short-yardage situations against the Ravens today.

Corey Dillon has been complaining he doesn't get his number called often enough, particularly on third-and-one.

He's complained so much about it that coach Bruce Coslet said during a lull in a news conference last week, "More Dillon complaints today?"

He then said, "If you can't keep your sense of humor, what can you keep?"

He then offered what he called an "interesting stat." He said, "Corey Dillon has run the ball more on third-and-one than any back in the NFL. As Paul [Brown] used to say, `Just so you know.' "

Dillon is tied with Cincinnati's Eddie George with 11 runs on third-and-two. George has made it seven times and Dillon five. He has been stuffed for no gain four of his past five carries on third-and-one, including the past three.

Coslet said the lack of blocking is part of the problem.

"It's just not all him, believe me," he said.

Stadium games

When you're the grandson of Henry Ford and one of the richest people in the country, you don't have to put a tacky commercial name on your new stadium.

That's why the Detroit Lions, who broke ground on their stadium in downtown Detroit last week, will call it Ford Field for owner William Clay Ford.

The Washington Redskins will announce today that they're renaming their stadium for an overnight delivery service, Federal Express.

In San Diego, the Chargers are having attendance problems at their stadium. The city of San Diego agreed to guarantee the Chargers 60,000 paid admissions. With the team struggling, the city has spent slightly more than $5 million this year to buy the unsold tickets.

Curse of the Tuna

In Boston, where they're still dealing with the Curse of the Bambino, they now have the Curse of the Tuna (Bill Parcells).

Monday night was the third straight year the New England Patriots have lost in midseason to their former coach.

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