PRO FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : NFC PLAYOFFS : Seifert Knows How San Franciscans Feel

Associated Press

What does winning the NFC championship mean to Seifert?

Seifert, a San Franciscan by birth who went to high school across the street from the 49ers' old home at Kezar Stadium, called it "the greatest feeling in the world to coach your team, the team you rooted for, to a championship."

The 49ers beat the Dallas Cowboys, 38-28, to win the title Sunday.

"I have a love affair with this place," Seifert said. "I grew up here. It's my home. It's like any one of the fans in San Francisco all of a sudden becomes head coach. And then to be the coach and to be going through all these things is something that's special. I don't know why it happened."

Seifert, who grew up in the Mission District, recalled being an usher at Kezar in 1957, when the 49ers squandered a 27-7 lead and lost, 31-27, to Detroit in a playoff game for the championship of what was then the NFL's Western Conference. He likened that experience to losing the last two NFC title games to Dallas, only to win Sunday.

"To see that thing unfold and to remember the hush over the city following that game. . . . There was a quiet that was indescribable. And then to be the coach and to go through that is particularly frustrating because it just reminds you of that thing over again.

"Then to see what took place (Sunday), it vaults you to that opposite emotion."

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The game got a 34.2 overnight rating and probably will wind up as the highest-rated program in the history of the Fox network.

Sunday's rating, the percentage of televisions in the nation tuned to the game, was up 9% from the 31.3 rating from the Cowboy-49er NFC title game on CBS last year. The share, the percentage of televisions tuned in among those on at the time, increased to 57% from 53%.

The highest-rated program on Fox so far was Dallas' 35-9 victory over Green Bay on Jan. 8, which got a 22.7 rating.

The overnight ratings are taken from 32 major markets. The national ratings will be available Thursday.

Each rating point represents 954,000 homes.

NBC's broadcast of San Diego's 17-13 victory over Pittsburgh got a 27.9 overnight rating, down 5% from last year's AFC championship game between Kansas City and Buffalo, which got a 29.3 rating. This year's game got a 56 share, nearly identical to last year's, which got a 57 share in the overnights.

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Seifert put to rest rumors that he's considering resigning as coach at the end of the season to take an administrative job with the 49ers.

During the telecast of Sunday's game, Fox commentators said Seifert might quit as coach to take a front-office job.

"I have no idea how they started. It wasn't anything I said, or anybody close to me would say," Seifert said Monday. "I don't plan on retiring or going into a different capacity. I enjoy coaching. I enjoy the San Francisco 49ers."

Seifert has a year remaining on his contract to coach the 49ers and club President Carmen Policy said he's very happy with him as coach. Besides, Policy said, he's a nice guy.

"I don't think there is a finer human being in professional sports today than George Seifert," Policy said. "The way he conducts his life and the way he conducts himself as a professional makes him, in my eyes, the ultimate good guy."

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