SUPER BOWL XXIX / SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 49, SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 26 : Turn Out All the Lightning, Party’s Over in San Diego : Reaction: In San Francisco, two shot and about 50 arrested during violent postgame celebrations.
At Pat O’Shea’s Madhatter, an Irish bar in the Richmond district of San Francisco, there was exuberance but no surprise at the 49ers’ never-in-doubt 49-26 victory over the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX on Sunday.
“San Diego only had two hopes: Bob Hope and no hope,” exulted Raymond Woods, a carpenter wearing a replica of 49er quarterback Steve Young’s No. 8 jersey.
“I’m glad to be home where the champions are,” said Steve Silvestri, back in San Francisco after attending Loyola Marymount.
The first all-California Super Bowl brought the winning city its fifth title, and solaced the losing city with the pride of merely getting to play.
In San Francisco, the night also brought violence. Two men were shot and about 50 people were arrested during violent postgame celebrations.
“It’s definitely getting worse, big-time,” police officer Miguel Granados said. “People are just completely out of control.”
At a free fan-fest in San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium, where about 15,000 watched the game on the scoreboard’s DiamondVision screen, there was massive disappointment but no shame.
After all, this was a Charger team that had been picked by the prognosticators as a dead-bang loser even before the season began. Instead, the Chargers went to Miami to play in their first Super Bowl.
“We weren’t even supposed to be here,” said Timothy Wilson, with Charger blue and gold paint splashed across his face. “We don’t care about San Francisco. We’re just happy about the Chargers.”
The reigning mood in San Diego, which often feels ignored by the rest of the nation, seemed to be that a Super Bowl appearance, even a losing one, had boosted the city’s standing in the civic big leagues. After this year’s Super Bowl, there’s the prospect of San Diego playing host to the Republican National Convention in 1996 and the Super Bowl in 1998.
“It’s our turn, it’s our turn, it’s our turn,” college student Ruben Osuna said above the din at Dick’s Last Resort, a Gaslamp Quarter joint that specializes in ribs, beer and rowdiness, and where hundreds of Charger faithful watched the game on large-screen televisions and screamed in joy at the few good moments.
At a place called Uncle Bert’s in San Francisco’s Castro District, bartender Barry Stoy opined that the Super Bowl gathering there had not been as boisterous as the one for the game that clinched this Super Bowl berth, the 49ers’ victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
“I lost my voice at that game,” Stoy said.
After Sunday’s game, New Year’s Eve-style celebrations broke out in the Mission District, the Sunset District, Cow Hollow, Union Square and Market Street, complete with firecrackers, honking horns, some dancing in the streets, and a few gunshots.
Dolores Gomez, nursing supervisor at San Francisco General Hospital, said two men were brought in from the Mission District, one with a gunshot to the leg and the other with a wounded arm. Both were fine and in stable condition, she said.
About 30 of the arrests--for fighting, drunkenness and the firing of celebratory gunshots--also came in the Mission District, traditionally the wildest part of the city after a Super Bowl.
In suburban San Leandro, the owner of Ricky’s Sports Lounge said the four previous Super Bowl victories have taught 49er fans the art of restraint. “They’re pretty joyful,” said Ricky Ricardo. “Maybe a bit smugly happy.”
San Francisco saw very little of the pregame hoopla that enveloped San Diego in the past two weeks and, unlike the free-admission party thrown at the San Diego stadium, there was no main gathering spot for 49er fans.
In San Diego, at a stadium known locally as The Murph, Minnie Swarens reflected on the impact of the Chargers’ surprising season on a city that usually abhors displays of emotionalism.
“San Diego has been the greatest place to live in the world during the (past) two weeks,” she said. “It’s the most united I have ever seen this city.”
Even those who would not, or could not, alter their schedules found a way to watch the game.
Organizers of the San Diego Cat Fanciers’ Food and Water Bowl positioned televisions around exhibits for Friskies and Hartz Mountain products, in hopes that attendance would not suffer if people could see both the cats and the Chargers.
“I definitely wouldn’t have come if I couldn’t have watched the game too,” said Jessica Everhart, who came to the show to help a friend display her Persians.
At Cardiff-by-the-Sea, surfer Darryl Enders, a telemarketer, interrupted his wave-catching to catch a bit of the game on a battery-operated television in his van before dashing back into the surf. On his surfboard was a large blue-and-yellow Charger lightning bolt.
“The Bolt is rad,” he explained.
Sports bars in both cities were standing room only long before kickoff. Even on a typical cool January day in San Francisco, the temperature inside the Madhatter soared above 90.
“It’s not the heat,” said Kevin Weir, a graphics designer. “It’s the humidity and the lack of oxygen.”
The Bellyup Tavern in Solana Beach, north of San Diego, reached its maximum 500 capacity two hours before the game.
“Win or lose, the Chargers are the biggest thing to happen to San Diego in a long time,” said Steve Magwood. “San Diego isn’t laid-back anymore.”
Two of the Chargers’ more daring fans, Rob Apger and Meljohn Gamboa, flew to Lake Tahoe to place bets and then drove to San Francisco, cruising enemy turf in a rented white convertible, cheering for the Chargers.
“We love to give people hard times,” said Apger, a musician. The only unnerving moment, he said, came when a van full of 49er fans chased the convertible on famously twisting Lombard Street.
Back home, a third of the crowd left Jack Murphy Stadium well before the end of the game.
“I knew we had little chance of winning,” said Samantha Parks. “But I’m still going to the (city-sponsored) parade Monday.”
* Times staff writer Frank B. Williams in San Diego, correspondent Sarah Klein in San Francisco and Times wire services contributed to this story.