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SAN FRANCISCO’S PLAYS SIGNED, SEALED AND DELIVERED TO GREEN BAY COACHES

SHARE SAN FRANCISCO’S PLAYS SIGNED, SEALED AND DELIVERED TO GREEN BAY COACHES

What's a Packer fan to do when handed a San Francisco play sheet on the eve of Green Bay's game with the 49ers?

Give it to the Packers, of course.That's what Kerri Mallien of Green Bay says she and co-worker Al Paul did after she got the play list and a sheet full of play diagrams along with an autograph from 49ers consultant and former coach Bill Walsh.

She said she was attending a conference Sunday evening at a Green Bay hotel when she spotted Walsh and asked him for an autograph.

Walsh took the napkin she offered, then reached in his pocket for something else to write on against a brick wall, signed the autograph and handed it back to her, she said.

When Mallien walked away, she noticed two folded pieces of paper were with the napkin, and one had some writing on it referring to the Packers.

"I didn't know exactly what it was at first," she said. "All I was after was an autograph from Bill Walsh."

But when she showed it to Paul, he recognized it as a list of plays the 49ers planned to run in Monday night's game.

One paper had several play diagrams. The other was a list under a heading of, "1st 16 plays vs. Green Bay Packers 10-14-96."

Examples from the list contain just the sort of jargon one might expect to be used for NFL plays, such as:

"1. 93 Ctr - Blue Lt `X' `X' Short"

"5. Fox 3 Sam `Z' Cross - Green Lt Close"

"10. Flea Flicker Slow Screen Right - Solo Rt `U' Motion"

Paul took copies of the papers to Packers offices Monday and said someone should show them to coach Mike Holmgren and defensive coordinator Fritz Shurmur. He left telephone numbers in case there were questions.

"We didn't hear a thing," Mallien said. "We don't know if they got it or not."

In Monday night's game, Green Bay held the 49ers scoreless in the opening quarter. By halftime, the 49ers led 17-6, but the Packers went on to win 23-20 in overtime.

"If they knew what we were doing, they didn't respond to it," San Francisco coach George Seifert said Friday, acknowledging that the copied play list appeared legitimate.

Walsh took a tongue-in-cheek approach when questioned about the incident.

"Well, in all seriousness I have to publicly accuse Mike Holmgren of planting a Mata Hari among the autograph seekers," he said in a television interview. "It's the only way. It's the slickest thing I've seen in a long time."

But he clearly seemed upset when first informed of the story, which broke in the Friday edition of The Door County Advocate, a weekly out of nearby Sturgeon Bay.

Walsh said he could not remember how the papers got out of his notebook in the first place.

"It's a breach on my part of the 49ers, and I feel terrible," he said. "It's one of those things that happen in life, and I've just got to put it behind me."