June 25, 2024

California The San Francisco 49ers overcame a 17-point deficit on Sunday night thanks to a brutal second-half collapse by the Detroit Lions, which devastated the city’s supporters, including thousands of people who went from near and far to Levi’s Stadium to watch a promising season come to an end one win short of the Super Bowl.

Reporters and photographers for the Free Press caught the day’s optimism as well as the heartbreaking conclusion to a game that had such a promising start.

And as their team edged closer to a Super Bowl berth, the West Coast supporters just became more raucous. They burst out after the victory was declared.

As the adrenaline subsided, Lions fans stood in silence. A few then yelled profanities, while others departed just before the end.

James Williams felt both sadness and disbelief.

We missed a few opportunities to score points on the board. Standing in the stadium concourse at the conclusion, Williams, a Detroit native, remarked, I think that kind of hurt us a little bit. We’ve been coping with it for what it is.

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