Free Safety Ronnie Lott, the 49ers' Softhearted Hit Man, Takes Aim at a Record Super Bowl Three-Peat
Lott, who makes weekly rounds of local hospitals and homeless shelters, knows the value of human contact. As an Air Force brat, he changed addresses frequently and found sports a way to make childhood friends in each new town. He won a football scholarship to the University of Southern California (where he fathered a son, now 11) and was drafted by San Francisco in 1981. Today the safety, who has been named to nine Pro Bowls, leads the 49er defense with his take-no-prisoners style of play, but off-field he has begun to mellow. In March the bachelor will marry model Karen Collmer.
Since early last month, Lott has been nursing a torn ligament and sprains in both knees with "acupuncture, aspirin—everything you can imagine." But on Saturday, when his 14-2 'Niners start their second season—the playoffs—he will return to his turf in Candlestick Park, ready to challenge anyone foolhardy enough to step between San Francisco and a record third-straight Super Bowl title.