ACCORDING to Albert Hammond, it never rains in Southern California. Up the coast they are not similarly blessed, and the Dallas Cowboys, in San Francisco for their National Conference Championship game against the 49ers, arrived in time to see th e heavens open, forcing them to take to the dancefloor.
After days of hard rain, the underfoot conditions at Candlestick Park were so treacherous yesterday that the Cowboys were planning to rehearse their plays for today's match, which sees the two strongest teams in the National Football League contesting a place in Super Bowl XXIX, in the ballroom of their hotel.
The Cowboys' bid to achieve the "three-peat", a record third successive Super Bowl, rests largely on the fitness of their running back Emmitt Smith, who injured a hamstring in his side's play-off victory over Green Bay last week. Smith has had intensive treatment all week - a member of the Cowboys' medical staff even moved in with him - but the Dallas head coach, Barry Switzer, said yesterday that the No 22 would definitely play.
"Emmitt will start," Switzer said. "But whether he plays five plays, seven plays or 10 plays, we don't know. He's got problems with his wheels, and when you have problems with your wheels, it's hard to go 100 per cent," he said. Smith is determined to play in the Cowboys' drive towards history and is unworried about the soggy conditions. …