49ers Win One for the Owner

From Associated Press

Storming off the muddy field into their locker room, the San Francisco 49ers took up the chant, “Eddie! Eddie!”

Showing their support for embattled owner Eddie DeBartolo the best way they knew how, the 49ers rallied from a chaotic week to defeat the Minnesota Vikings, 28-17, on Sunday.

“As much as Eddie D. has done for us, it was time for us to give him a little something back and this was our way of showing him we love him,” linebacker Gary Plummer said.


Steve Young was 20 of 25 passing for 280 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for another score for San Francisco (12-2) in its first victory in three tries against teams that currently have winning records.

The victory came after the 49ers’ worst regular-season loss in 17 years in Kansas City last Sunday and the wrenching midweek resignation of DeBartolo as team chairman amid reports he could be indicted in a Louisiana gambling fraud case.

“My hat is off to this team for battling through any distractions,” 49er Coach Steve Mariucci said. “It was an unusual week.”

DeBartolo, known for his generosity to players over the years, withdrew from an active role in running the team but retains his ownership stake. He was at the game Sunday, and after the game, Mariucci presented him with a game ball as the players chanted their support.

“He’s going through a tough ordeal and we wanted this game for him,” said Terrell Owens, who had a touchdown reception.

Minnesota (8-6) was playing without starting quarterback Brad Johnson, who underwent season-ending neck surgery last week. Randall Cunningham, out of football last year, completed 16 of 31 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns to Cris Carter--who has the NFL’s fifth-highest career total at 86.