NFL cancels party because of gulf war

The National Football League yesterday canceled its annual Super Bowl party because of the war in the Persian Gulf.

The league said it expected the game between the AFC champion Buffalo Bills and NFC champion New York Giants to go on as scheduled Sunday, but that it would monitor Middle East events up to kickoff. At the same time, however, the league decided it would be inappropriate to conduct the party, usually held the Friday night before the game, which attracts a crowd of about 3,000 and costs the league approximately $500,000.


"In light of the war in the Middle East, we plan this week to emphasize the game itself and the rich tradition of the Super Bowl in its silver anniversary year while moderating league-sponsored social events," said Joe Browne, NFL vice president of communications and development.

* SUPER BOWL SECURITY: If you want to watch the Super Bowl on a portable television set, don't try it in Tampa Stadium. And if it happens to rain on game day, prepare to get a little wet.


Portable TVs and umbrellas are among the items barred from the stadium as part of increased security for the game. Also prohibited are camcorders, still cameras, headset radios, bottles, cans and other containers.

* 49ERS: Quarterback Joe Montana will undergo surgery on his broken right hand later this week and will not play in the NFL's Pro Bowl game on Feb. 3 in Honolulu.

The quarterback will have two screws placed in the fifth metacarpal bone, above the little finger, in his passing hand. He was injured in the fourth quarter on the 49ers' 15-13 loss to the New York Giants in the NFC Championship game Sunday.

The 49ers refused to be more specific about the day surgery is planned, and team doctors had no prognosis for how long it will take for the hand to heal.

Jim Burt, angered over accusations that he deliberately tried to hurt Giants quarterback Jeff Hostetler in Sunday's game, defended his play and issued a warning to his former Giants teammates.

"They can watch the film," he said, "and if they still feel the same way, they can come and visit me. They all know where I live in New Jersey. One by one, they can come by my house and we'll settle it.

"I'm serious about that, too."

Hostetler hyperextended his left knee on the play and sat out briefly before returning. His knee swelled slightly overnight, but Hostetler will practice today and should be 100 percent by Sunday, according to trainer Ronnie Barnes.


The 49ers said yesterday they had just 10 players on the field in the fourth quarter when Gary Reasons ran for 30 yards and a first down on a fake punt.

It kept alive a drive that resulted in a field goal, trimming the San Francisco lead to 13-12.

Bill Romanowski, who should have been on the field at the time, left because of an injury, leaving a sizable hole in the 49ers' line. The 49ers tried to call a timeout or send in another player, but there was time for neither.

* BILLS: Defensive end Leon Seals won't arrive in Tampa until tomorrow because he is attending the funeral of his mother, who died Saturday.