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Police came out in droves to contain what they thought would be reveling masses, but the mood in San Francisco was markedly somber following the 49ers' heartbreaking loss to the Baltimore Ravens Sunday evening.
Authorities reported only minor incidents of violence, mostly concentrated in the Mission, after the Super Bowl ended with a score of 34-31. As of 10 p.m., officers had arrested 25 people, mainly for public intoxication.
San Francisco police had beefed up their resources in order to prevent the mayhem that ensued after the Giants won the World Series last October. During those post-game celebrations, vandals rioted, set fires and and destroyed public property, including a Muni bus.
Fearing a similar situation on Super Bowl Sunday, Mayor Ed Lee tried to curb hard liquor sales and the SFPD shut down certain streets and carried riot gear. Still, the city's energy felt solemn, not celebratory, and major calamities were largely avoided.
"It's nowhere compared to the Giants," Officer Carlos Manfredi told NBC Bay Area.
Loyal fans, for their part, tried to remain upbeat. "We're still second place," Marvin Miller of Oakland said to NBC. "We are still better than every other team out there. And Harbaugh brought us farther in one season than any other coach did in years."
Comments about Quarterback Colin Kaepernick's lack of experience, however, seemed inevitable. "This would have been the perfect story," Michelle Fall told the San Francisco Chronicle. "A kid with a big dream. And I really hate to say it, but he's a rookie. We all fed into this dream, but it takes experience to do something like this."
With one Super Bowl dream lost, local officials are already looking ahead to another one: bringing the big game to San Francisco in three years.
"As a member of the Bay Area booster committee," former Mayor Willie Brown wrote in his weekly column, "I am publicly asking John Madden to come on board and advise us on how to land the 50th Super Bowl in 2016."