GEORGE SEIFERT led the San Francisco 49ers to three Super Bowl titles during the 1990s, but there is no room for sentiment in the National Football League. These days, Seifert is in charge of the ailing Carolina Panthers, losers of eight games in a row and desperately in need of a morale boost when Seifert returned to the site of former glories on Sunday.
A welcome victory seemed on the cards as Carolina enjoyed an eight-point advantage in the dying minutes. The 49ers, however, have become masters of brinkmanship this season, and they were to thwart their former mentor with a late revival.
The quarterback, Jeff Garcia, threw a seven-yard touchdown to Terrell Owens with one second remaining, then tossed the two-point conversion to Eric Johnson, sending the game to overtime. From there, a San Francisco win was inevitable, the kicker, Jose Cortez, converting a 26-yard field goal to give the home side their third overtime triumph of the season.
Seifert's reputation hangs by a slender thread after three disappointing years in Charlotte. Unless the Panthers are able to mount a strong finish to the campaign, it seems inevitable that his career will end in ignominy.
Brett Favre enjoys a reputation as one of the finest quarterbacks ever to play the game, but the Green Bay Packers' pass master also suffers lapses in judgement, and another one helped the Atlanta Falcons to an unexpected 23-20 verdict.
With his side down by three points in the final minute, Favre elected not to take his team into field goal range, attempting instead to win with a touchdown. The Falcons saw it coming, Ashley Ambrose intercepting to confirm the upset. In all, Favre gave up three interceptions and two fumbles, but is unlikely to tame his swashbuckling …