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Local fans subdued by 49ers loss, but still loving their team

Handed a 20-17 overtime loss by the 49ers to the New York Giants, fans pouring out the gates at Candlestick Park were subdued but not angry with their team, even though they fell one victory short of a trip to the Super Bowl.

"Oh, so close!" 49ers fan Shane Roth of Santa Rosa exclaimed Sunday night as she left the stadium.

"It was a fantastic season," said the Sonoma County employee. "It's sad to see it end the way it did."

NFC Championship Game

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But Roth said he had no regrets about a team "that just missed the Super Bowl."

As a fan, Roth made some sacrifices, working the graveyard shift until 7:30 a.m. Sunday. He got home, showered, ate breakfast and caught a Golden Gate Transit bus to see the NFC Championship game.

"I'm going on 35 hours without sleep," said Roth, a Niners fan since age 5.

Fred Schmidt, who attended the game with Roth, said the Niners exceeded his expectation of an 8-8 or maybe a 9-7 season by going 13-3 in the regular season and winning a thriller over the New Orleans Saints in the NFC West divisional playoff game last weekend.

Lawrence Tynes' 31-yard field goal for the Giants in overtime ended the Niners' remarkable run on a damp, chilly night with intermittent rain.

"Obviously, I feel a little let down about losing," Schmidt said. "But all in all, it was a great season."

Catherine Lindquist of Santa Rosa, standing in the misty parking lot on the edge of San Francisco Bay, was undeterred by the loss.


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