If you’re an NFL fan, Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest day of the year. This year’s game should be an instant classic, with the San Francisco 49ers taking on the Kansas City Chiefs. While both teams have a shot at the 2019 title, one club has a much more successful history than the other.
That honor belongs to the 49ers, and they’ll be looking to add another Lombardi Trophy to their collection. But how many titles has the franchise won in their history?
The San Francisco 49ers early history
While we now know the United States as a massive country stretching from coast to coast, the nation wasn’t always so unified. Historically most of the major cities—and, in turn, the professional sports franchises—east of the Mississippi.
Tony Morabito, however, wasn’t convinced. After growing up in California and seeing the popularity of local college football games, he paid a visit to the NFL in 1942; the league, however, had no interest in westward expansion. He would try again in 1944 but was met with the same result.
Morabito, however, would then meet with Arch Ward. While Ward’s day job was sports editor of The Chicago Tribune, he was also attempting to start his own football league. The two worked out a deal and, in 1946, the All-American Football Conference kicked off; the San Francisco 49ers were a charter member.
The 49ers grew into one of the league’s top teams and, at the conclusion of the 1949 campaign, they joined the NFL. Morabito had finally made it into the club.
How many Super Bowl titles have the San Francisco 49ers won?
Despite their strong performances in the AAFC, the 49ers didn’t make a smooth transition into the NFL. The club went from being a big fish in a small pond to a bottom-feeder.
In the late 1970s, things started to change. Head coach Bill Walsh arrived and shook things up; he instituted his West Coast offense and making shrewd personnel decisions. None proved to be more important than drafting Joe Montana in 1979. Before long, the club’s offense started clicking; eventually, the defense was brought up to the same standard.
The 49ers won their first Super Bowl in 1981 and lifted the Lombardi Trophy again at the end of the 1984 campaign. Jerry Rice arrived in 1985 and helped the team claim another two championships in 1988 and 1989.
Can they make it six on Sunday?
No matter what happens on Super Bowl Sunday, we’re in for a great game. Both 538 and the oddsmakers are giving Kansas City an advantage, but the San Francisco 49ers are far from a long-shot to win their sixth championship.
While the game has been built up as offense against defense, the 49ers are excellent on both sides of the ball. Perhaps even more importantly for this match-up, San Francisco’s offense is well-balanced. The Chiefs defense has been getting better and was able to contain Derrick Henry in the second half of the AFC Championship, but the 49ers are a different beast; if Steve Spagnuolo sells out to stop Raheem Mostert, Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle will have a field day.
While going up against Patrick Mahomes and his talented offense won’t be easy, the San Francisco 49ers will have to like their chances on Sunday night. The franchise is only 60 minutes away from their sixth Super Bowl victory; they won’t want to let the opportunity slip.