San Francisco 49ers NFL Team Profile

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Few NFL teams can rival the historical success and rich tradition of the San Francisco 49ers. During the franchise's glory years in the 1980s and 1990s, San Francisco won five Super Bowls and established one of the all-time great NFL dynasties.

This profile takes a closer look at the 49ers:

Year Joined NFL: 1950

Stadium: Candlestick Park (until 2014)

All-time regular season record: 522-423-15

All-time postseason record: 27-19

Super Bowl wins: 5 (1981, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1994)

NFC championships: 5 (1981, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1994)

Division championships: 18 (most recently in 2011)

Rivals: St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders, New York Giants, New Orleans Saints.

Nicknames: Niners

Team colors: Scarlet and Gold

Mascot: Sourdough Sam

Notable players: Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, John Taylor, Dwight Clark, Roger Craig, Ronnie Lott, Alex Smith, Y.A. Tittle, Hugh McElhenny, Charlie Kruger, Bob St, Clair, Joe Perry, Jimmy Johnson, Fred Dean, Randy Cross, Keith Fahnhorst, Keena Turner, Jesse Sapolu, Wille Harper, Harris Barton, Brent Jones, Bryant Young, Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree.

Notable coaches: Bill Walsh, George Seifert, Jim Harbaugh, Dick Nolan.

History: The 49ers were the first major league sports team based in San Francisco. They came to existence in 1946 as part of the All-America Football Conference. San Francisco joined the National Football League four years later and began playing in the NFL in 1950.

Success came slowly for the Niners at first. They made one NFL playoff appearance before 1970. That breakthrough came through in 1957 behind the efforts of Hall-of-Fame quarterback Y.A. Tittle and the rest of the "Million Dollar Backfield." The 49ers ultimately lost in a divisional playoff game to the Detroit Lions 31-27 after the Lions scored 24 unanswered points to win the game.

Led by quarterback John Brodie, San Francisco won its first NFC division title in 1970. The Niners won the NFC West again in 1971 and 1972. All three seasons ended with a loss to the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC playoffs. The 49ers did not break through in the playoffs until Bill Walsh and Joe Montana came aboard a few years later.

San Francisco hired Walsh before the 1979 season. Walsh installed the West Coast offense, a pro-style short passing attack that influenced many pro and college football offenses in subsequent years, and turned around a 49ers team that had become a doormat. San Francisco went 2-14 in Walsh's first season. The 49ers' fortunes changed the next year when Joe Montana became the team's starting quarterback.

Walsh and Montana led San Francisco to its first Super Bowl victory in 1981 and to subsequent Super Bowl victories in 1984 and 1988 before Walsh retired. The Niners won another Super Bowl with Montana, under rookie head coach George Seifert, in 1989 and with Montana's successor Steve Young in 1994. During this era, Jerry Rice became the primary target for both Montana and Young. Rice played with San Francisco from 1985 until 2000 and retired as the all-time NFL leader in receptions, receiving touchdowns and receiving yards. All three players are counted among the all-time greatest NFL players.

San Francisco saw little success after Young's retirement in 1999. The 49ers missed the playoffs eight consecutive seasons and did not post a winning record from 2003 to 2010. Jim Harbaugh turned things around when he took over as head coach in 2011. Former no. 1 pick Alex Smith had his best season at quarterback and the Niners reached the playoffs for the first time since 2002. They lost to the New York Giants in the NFC Championship Game.

Niner fans can find out more about the team's history and all-time stats at the official 49ers website.

John Coon has been a fan of the San Francisco 49ers ever since the team drafted Alex Smith no. 1 overall from the University of Utah, his alma mater, in 2005.

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