Roller-coaster game ends in agony for 49ers fans 

click to enlarge Niners fans packed Kezar Pub on Sunday, but left disappointed after the 49ers’ comeback came up just short against the Seattle Seahawks. - JESSICA KWONG/THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • Jessica Kwong/The S.F. Examiner
  • Niners fans packed Kezar Pub on Sunday, but left disappointed after the 49ers’ comeback came up just short against the Seattle Seahawks.

There were early cheers for an anticipated victory, silence, then the exodus.

That was the progression for 49ers fans at Kezar Pub on Sunday, as San Francisco gave up the lead in the final quarter and fell 23-17 in the NFC Championship Game to the rival Seattle Seahawks, coming up short in its bid for a second straight Super Bowl.

"I bet $500 on the 49ers this year," said disappointed San Francisco resident Kip Pow, 23, booking it out the door. "There's always the [Golden State] Warriors."

While many fans at the pub across the street from the 49ers' old home, Kezar Stadium, fled from the TV screens, most stayed until the bitter end.

San Francisco held the lead through early in the fourth quarter, when the Seahawks' Russell Wilson threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse on fourth-and-7. Seattle added a field goal, forcing the 49ers to go for a touchdown.

Colin Kaepernick's 18-yard attempted pass to Michael Crabtree was deflected by Richard Sherman and intercepted by Malcolm Smith with 22 seconds left in the game. A touchdown and the kick would have given the Niners a one-point lead.

"I never lost hope, not even in the last second," said San Mateo resident Angelica Resendez, 33. "It could've been a very good comeback. I'm so sad. It sucks."

Though Kaepernick had two interceptions and a fumble in the final quarter, San Bruno resident Marlene Barahona, 33, looked at the bright side.

"Kaepernick is a good quarterback and I think he's accomplished a lot," she said.

The fact that the game took place at CenturyLink Field gave the Seahawks an unfair home-field advantage, claimed San Francisco resident Lydia Robles, 30.

"They call themselves the 12th Man; no one can hear them," she said, "And they weren't allowing San Francisco fans in some areas. We had a complete bar in San Francisco for the Seahawks fans; we don't discriminate."

One of the few people who wore a Seahawks T-shirt was visiting Vancouver resident Tim Swain, 31, a fan of Seattle for many years. He said he felt a little negativity when he was spat on in the face by a 49ers fan - "accidentally."

"The other 49ers fans were not cool with that and made sure it wasn't a reflection of the locals," he said. "As a minority fan, I got treated pretty well."

Kezar Pub owner Cyril Hackepp, 40, said he was not concerned - whether the Niners won or lost - that fans at his packed bar would be rowdy or cause destruction. He considered the incident in 2012 when Giants fans vandalized a Muni bus "a very isolated incident."

"Fans here are very good," he said "But I also understand The City is taking precautions. We have a beautiful city and vandalism is not good."

Few red and gold necklaces handed out were left behind. Faithful 49ers fans will save them for next season.

"It's going to be OK. There's always next year," Resendez said "As long as Seattle doesn't win the Super Bowl!"

About The Author

Jessica Kwong

Jessica Kwong

Bio:
Jessica Kwong covers transportation, housing, and ethnic communities, among other topics, for the San Francisco Examiner. She covered City Hall as a fellow for the San Francisco Chronicle, night cops and courts for the San Antonio Express-News, general news for Spanish-language newspapers La Opinión and El Mensajero,... more
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