San Francisco 49ers Logo
The San Francisco 49ers are a professional American football team based in the San Francisco Bay Area. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The team plays its home games in Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California, while the club's headquarters and practice facility are located in nearby Santa Clara.
The 49ers were established in 1946 as a charter member of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) and joined the NFL in 1950 after the two leagues merged together. The team was the first NFL franchise to win five Super Bowls, and is second only to the Pittsburgh Steelers in total Super Bowl wins (6), tied with the Dallas Cowboys at 5. The team's five league (or currently, Conference) titles (which include the pre-NFL and pre-Super Bowl periods) place them in a four-way tie for fifth all-time, behind the Green Bay Packers (13), the Chicago Bears (9), the New York Giants (7), and the Steelers (6). The 49ers remain the only team in NFL history, of those who have won more than one, who have an undefeated record in the Super Bowl.
The 49ers teams of the 1980s and early 1990s were a great dynasty given their five Super Bowl triumphs in that span, including four in the 1980s. The Niners won 10 or more games for 16 straight seasons. Particularly notable seasons are the 1984 and 1989 teams. Three-time Super Bowl MVP Joe Montana, perennial Pro Bowler Ronnie Lott, all-time highest career quarterback rating holder Steve Young, and career touchdown leader Jerry Rice played for the 49ers during this period. Additionally, some of the most memorable plays (including "The Catch") and games (such as Super Bowl XXIII) were played by this team.
The name "49ers" comes from "Forty-niners" - the name given to the gold prospectors who arrived in Northern California around 1849 during the California Gold Rush. The name was suggested to reflect the voyagers who had rushed the West for gold. It is the only name the team has ever been affiliated with and San Francisco is the only city in which it has resided.
The team is the oldest major professional sports team in California. Major League Baseball would not come for a few more years when the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers would move to San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively. The Philadelphia Warriors and Minneapolis Lakers would move to California in the sixties, and the Oakland Seals and Los Angeles Kings would become the first NHL teams in the state in 1967.