49ers

49ers travel heavy, prepare for New England elements

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49ers travel heavy, prepare for New England elements

SANTA CLARA -- Steve Urbaniak, the 49ers' equipment manager, has been checking the weather reports every day.

Ultimately, Urbaniak's job is to make sure the 49ers are ready for all the elements they could face Sunday night against the New England Patriots in Foxboro, Mass.

Currently, the Weather.com forecast -- the only Urbaniak relies upon -- calls for 37 degrees and a 60-percent chance of rain.

"That's the worst forecast ever," Urbaniak said. "It's right in the mix between rain and snow. A wet (cold) rain is horrible. A cold snow is better. Snow is a lot easier to deal with than the rain."

The 49ers, who are scheduled to depart the Bay Area after their Friday afternoon practice, will be packing 3,000 extra pounds of equipment to help players, coaches and staff deal with the conditions. Typically, the team travels with 18,000 pounds of equipment.

They packed an assortment of thermal tops and bottoms, thermal socks, boots for the coaches and staff on the sideline, winter caps, ski gloves, ski pants for the kickers, extra jackets and sideline capes, Urbaniak said.

Urbaniak and his staff will head to Gillette Stadium on Sunday and unpack everything well in advance of the 8:30 p.m. (ET) kickoff.

"We'll have it lined up and ready to go so if somebody wants something," Urbaniak said. "If somebody wants sacks or a thermal, it'll all be right there."

Assistant equipment managers Doc Dressler and Scott Rotier have their own personal responsibilities. Dressler is in charge of all the gloves and shoes for anything the weather has to offer. Rotier is taking care of the coaches and staff to make sure everyone has rain gear, cold gear and the proper socks and boots.

"Hopefully, we're doing a lot of work for nothing," Urbaniak said. "That's what we're hoping for. And then we turn around and do it all again next week for Seattle."

The 49ers have experienced very few "weather" games through the years. Urbaniak is in his 10th season in charge of the 49ers' equipment room. He said his worst experiences have been in Seattle, especially a windy and rainy Thursday night in 2006.

"That was the worst one," he said. "The field flooded, and they delayed the game. It was wet and cold and we blew every circuit in the locker room because we had guys come in from pregame and we had an hour delay. So we were taking guys' jerseys off and putting hair dryers on them."

"We have to make sure we're ready for everything."

49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine

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AP

49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine

The NFL fined 49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon $24,309 for unnecessary roughness in last week’s game against Washington.

Garçon, who was not penalized on the play, lowered his helmet and struck Washington safety Montae Nicholson at the end of an 8-yard pass reception in the second quarter.

In 2013, the NFL passed a rule that bans the ball carrier from initiating contact with the crown of his helmet in the open field.

Nicholson’s helmet flew off and he remained on the ground for a couple of minutes. He was evaluated for a possible concussion and shoulder injury. However, Nicholson was cleared and he returned to action.

After the play, Garçon and Washington safety D.J. Swearinger exchanged words, and Swearinger took a swipe at Garçon’s facemask. Swearinger was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The NFL fined Swearinger $9,115 for unnecessary roughness.

Ronnie Lott: Chance to show Dwight Clark how much we care

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AP

Ronnie Lott: Chance to show Dwight Clark how much we care

SANTA CLARA – In less than a year since a group of former 49ers players came together to form the Golden Heart Fund, the non-profit organization has provided valuable assistance.

“We’ve made some progress with the idea of knowing there are some people in need, so we’ve been able to make some grants to some of the ex-Niners,” Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott told NBC Sports Bay Area.

“We’ve been able to respond. This is more about us being able to give guys the ability to know they can have, as (former 49ers linebacker and Golden Heart Fund board member) Ron Ferrari says, a hand up not a hand out.”

The organization is in the midst of a fund-raising drive this week in conjunction with "Dwight Clark Day" on Sunday. The 49ers face the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium, and Clark will be the guest of honor. More than 35 players from the 49ers' first Super Bowl championship team are expected to be in attendance.

Clark played nine seasons for the 49ers and provided the most memorable play in franchise history with “The Catch” against Dallas in the 1981 NFC Championship game, which propelled the organization to its first Super Bowl. Clark served as a front-office executive for a decade after his playing days.

In March, Clark announced he was diagnosed with ALS. He is scheduled to attend Sunday’s game and make some remarks at halftime from a suite.

“It’s unbelievable we are having an opportunity to celebrate an incredible day for this gentleman,” Lott said. “We can all say there was a moment in time in which we stood on his shoulders after making that catch. Now, we get a chance to lift him up a little bit and let him know how much we all care.”

Lott said Clark has been a champion of the Golden Heart Fund from its inception. Past and current 49ers ownership has supported the organization, which provides financial support for former 49ers players in times of physical, emotional and financial need.

“It’s the spirit of Dwight,” Lott said. “It’s more about the funds going in through his efforts. He’s paying it forward.”

--The public can made a direct contribution to the fund at GoldenHeartFund.org.

--Proceeds from the 50/50 raffle at Sunday’s game will benefit the Golden Heart Fund.

--Twenty-five percent of proceeds from the sales of Dwight Clark apparel purchased on game day will go to the fund.

--Half of all proceeds from admission to the 49ers Museum at Levi’s Stadium throughout the year will go to the charity.

-- On Sunday, Nov. 19, Levi’s Stadium and race grand marshal Roger Craig will host the first Golden Heart 4.9K Run with all proceeds from the event going to the Golden Heart Fund. Runners can register GoldenHeartRun.com.