The San Francisco 49ers, also known as the 49ers SF, the Niners , The Red and Gold or Bay Bombers are a professional American football team based in California.
The San Francisco 49ers, also known as the 49ers SF, the Niners , The Red and Gold or Bay Bombers are a professional American football team based in California. The team is a part of the Western Division of the National Football Conference. The 49ers SF, who started playing as a charter team of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) in 1946, became a member of the NFL with the merging of the AAFC into the NFL.
The team, which has had some of the best runs in football history, specially in the 1980s and 90s , has been going through a bad patch in its history since the year 2002, losing against weaker teams, having poor playing spells and being dogged by controversies both within and outside the club. However, the team still has a major fan following, owing to its past successes which include five Super Bowl victories, five NFC championships and seventeen Division championships wins. The San Francisco 49ers are the only NFL team, apart from the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers to have won the Super Bowl a record five times. On top of this, the Niners have also been responsible for giving American football some of its greatest heroes like Steve Young, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and Ronnie Lott.
Ever since their inception in 1946, the San Francisco 49ers have been based in San Francisco, playing all their home matches in San Francisco while having their club and practice sessions in Santa Clara. Unlike most football teams, the team has retained its first and only name, which is reminiscent of the California gold rush of 1849.
The 49ers had always been a mediocre team from the 40s till the end of the 70s, winning some matches while losing even more and their exploits were nothing much to either inspire a great fan following or to write home about. However, all this changed in the 1980s, when the team managed to win four Super Balls in one decade. Not only this, they missed the playoffs only twice during these ten years. It was during these golden years that the team also threw up a number of superbly talented players like receiver and quarterback Joe Montana, receiver Dwight Clark and running back Earl Cooper.
As of late, apart from being mired in a number of controversies ranging from long drawn out battles over ownership to leaking out of non public training videos, the team also has not been making any great waves in the championships arena. The last and most recent brick in the wall has been the team’s proposed move to Santa Clara for playing their games also. Around the end of the year 2006, negotiations that were on between the 49ers SF and the city of San Francisco regarding the building of a privately funded stadium came to an end with the 49ers management pulling out of the deal due to undisclosed reasons and deciding to move to Santa Clara for good. Last heard, plans were afoot to build a state of the art playing facility in Santa Clara, to be completed by the year 2012. This decision of the team management has delivered a further blow to 49ers SF fans in San Francisco.