Between 1981 and 1994, the San Francisco 49ers dominated the NFL, winning an incredible five Super Bowls during that period alone. Today, the franchise is a part of the NFL’s very competitive NFC West Division, which is also home to the Arizona Cardinals, the Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks.
5 San Francisco 49ers Facts
Here are five fun facts (one for each Super Bowl victory) about one of the most storied franchises in the National Football League — the San Francisco 49ers.
- The very first regular season game for the San Francisco 49ers was against the New York Yankees. (source) You read that right! The San Francisco 49ers began play in 1946 as part of the now-defunct All-American Football Conference, before eventually moving to the National Football League for the 1950 NFL season. The New York Yankees were a very short-lived team that played only in the AAFC from 1946 through 1949, and shared a home field at Yankee Stadium with their more popular (and more successful baseball counterpart). This game took place in front of 35,000 fans at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, and saw the 49ers lose their inaugural game as a franchise to the Yankees, by a score of 21-7. In their first season, the 49ers finished with a 9-5 record and failed to qualify for the postseason.
- The 49ers have won the Super Bowl five times, which is the second most in NFL history. (source) The San Francisco 49ers are one of only four franchises in the National Football League to win at least five Lombardi Trophies. The 49ers won have won the Super Bowl on five occasions since 1982, where they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 26-21. The Super Bowl victories for the San Francisco 49ers have come against the Cincinnati Bengals (both in 1982 and 1989), the Miami Dolphins (1985), the Denver Broncos (199) and the then-San Diego Chargers (1995), who have since relocated to Los Angeles. The 49ers, along with the Dallas Cowboys are tied with five Lombardi Trophies each, while the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots are the only franchises to win the Super Bowl six different times.
- The San Francisco 49ers have won 33 playoff games, which is the 4th most in NFL history. (source) Throughout their time in the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers have played in an impressive 55 playoff games, posting a 33-22 record. They’ve appeared in 6 Wild Card Round games, 25 Divisional Round games, 16 Conference Championship games, and have also played in seven Super Bowls (where the franchise is 5-2 all-time). The 49ers 33 playoff victories is only shy of the Green Bay Packers (36), Dallas Cowboys (35), Pittsburgh Steelers (36) and New England Patriots (37).
- In 1985, 49ers star Roger Craig became the first player in NFL history to have 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in a single season. (source) Roger Craig had a historic season in 1985, registering 1,050 yards on the ground along with 1,016 receiving yards. While the San Francisco 49ers would have a very early exit in the playoffs that year (with a 17-3 loss to the New York Giants in the Wild Card round), that season is a big reason why running back Roger Craig is a member of the 49ers Hall of Fame. Throughout his NFL career, Craig spent time with the San Francisco 49ers (1983-1990), Los Angeles Raiders (1991) and Minnesota Vikings (1992-1993), was named to four Pro Bowls, and was a three-time Super Bowl Champion.
- The first ever draft selection in 49ers history was lineman Leo Nomellini in 1950. (source) The San Francisco 49ers moved from the All-American Football Conference to the National Football League for the 1950 NFL season, and had the 11th overall selection in the first round of that year’s draft. With their first ever draft selection, the 49ers selected standout lineman Leo Nomellini, who played his college football at Minnesota. He turned out to be a great selection for the franchise, as Nomellini would be selected to ten Pro Bowls, have his #73 jersey retired by the 49ers, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1969. During the offseasons, Normellini wrestled as Leo “The Lion” Normellini for the National Wrestling Alliance, where he was a 10-time World Tag Team Champion.
If you’re a San Francisco 49ers fan and have any more fun facts to share about one of the most historic franchises in the history of the National Football League, share them with us!