28 September 2010
San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers (also known as the Niners) are a professional American football team. The 49ers are currently a member of the Western Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL).
The name "49ers" comes from the name given to the prospectors who went west during the California Gold Rush.
The California Gold Rush began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill, in Coloma, California. In the next year, that news brought some 300,000 people to California. The gold-seekers, called "Forty-niners" (as a reference to 1849). They were a hardy bunch who overcame hardships in their quest for a fortune.
Because of the gold rush, San Francisco grew from a small settlement to a boomtown, and roads, churches, schools and other towns were built throughout California. A state constitution was written and California became a state in 1850.
Team owner Anthony J. Morabito chose 49ers for his All-America Football Conference squad because it reflected San Francisco’s link to the California Gold Rush.
The 49ers began play in 1946 as a charter member of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) and joined the NFL in 1950 after the AAFC merged into the older league.
The team was the first NFL franchise to win five Super Bowls. 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.
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 all played for the 49ers during their greatest period.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly San Francisco 49ers
We Were Champions: The 49Ers' Dynasty in Their Own Words
San Francisco 49ers: Where Have You Gone?