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Bearrrrrr Weather Was Super for 49ers

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When the San Francisco 49ers got to Chicago last Friday night for Sunday’s National Football Conference championship game, everyone they ran into wanted to tell them how bad the weather was going to be.

“We heard it was going to be 10 degrees,” guard Randy Cross said. “Then we heard there were going to be snow flurries. Then we heard it was going to be 20 below.”

All those forecasts were delivered with glee by weathermen, news commentators and even fans who were calling it Bear weather, or, as the message board at Soldier Field labeled it before the game, Bearrrrrr weather.

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“We didn’t think it was such a big deal,” San Francisco linebacker Mike Walter said, not even when the 49ers came out for their warmups and encountered a 29-m.p.h. wind and a wind-chill factor of -26 degrees.

“All I know is that I looked over at their bench one time and they looked cold, too,” Walter said.

Add 49ers: As it got colder and dark in the final minutes of San Francisco’s 28-3 victory that sent them to the Super Bowl against the Cincinnati Bengals in Miami, Cross had some final thoughts on the weather.

He said: “I thought about 75 degrees in Miami,” he said.

For what it’s worth: The 49ers’ 26-21 victory over the Bengals in that 1982 game ended the American Football Conference’s dominance of the Super Bowl. The AFC had won 11 of the 13 previous games. Since then, the Raiders are the only AFC winner.

Puckered out: In the world junior hockey tournament last week in Anchorage, Alaska, the Soviet Union was holding a 3-2 lead late in the game when Sweden scored, apparently tying the score.

At the same time, however, several players were fighting in a corner for a second puck. Officials halted play and tried to determine which was the puck of record. When they couldn’t, the goal was disallowed and the Soviets held on to win.

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Afterward, the Swedes protested, saying that someone on the Soviet bench had thrown the second puck onto the ice, hoping for play to be halted when it appeared that Sweden was about to tie the score. Films of the game failed to show the origin of the second puck and the protest was denied.

It remains a mystery, but tournament officials have a theory. They believe a Soviet player in the penalty box spotted a stack of pucks nearby and stuck one in his pocket as a souvenir. Later, when he returned to the ice, the puck fell out.

Quotebook

Former heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman, 40, who is in the midst of a comeback, on current champion Mike Tyson: “He’s not in shape to fight me. I’m in better shape than he is. I’d eat him up, chew him up and spit him out. I can beat any of these young whippersnappers.”

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