San Francisco 49ers
Just like several other NFL teams, San Francisco 49ers have their roots in another league. In their case it is the All-American Football Conference (AAFC) which was founded in 1944. After joining the National Football Conference in 1950, it took about 30 years before the San Francisco 49ers showed up among the best teams of the NFL. In 1944, the brothers Anthony J. and Victor P. Morabity – who made their money trading wood – participated in the founding of the AAFC. They named their team after the generation of Californians who came to the pacific coast in the hundreds of thousands after gold was found in Sacramento in 1949 – San Francisco 49ers. But not everything was gold in the 20th century for the 49ers: Although they were the second-best team in the AAFC, they lived a shadow existence besides the Cleveland Browns.
After the dissolution of the AAFC, San Francisco 49ers found a new home in the NFL. In the following years the team from the “Golden Gate City” could build on excellent players like quarterback Y.A. Tittle, running back Hugh McElhenny or defensive tackle Leo Nomellini, yet they didn’t reach the playoffs in the 1950s. The 49ers had a short high under head coach Dick Nolan, who led the team to the NFC Championship Game in 1970 and 1971, but they lost both games to the Dallas Cowboys. In 1971 the 49ers left the Kezar Stadium and changed to Candlestick Park, a stadium which should witness the rise of the golden helmets to a dominant team in the NFL in the following years. 1979 the new owner of the 49ers, Edward DeBartolo Jr., contacted Bill Walsh – an offensive specialist – as its new head coach. It only took him three seasons to lead the 49ers to their first Super Bowl. Walsh, a former assistant of Don Coryell, developed his passing game to the “West Coast” offense which is widely used in American football today. Although it is based on fast and short passes, with a good coordination of the quarterback and receiver, it can lead to many yards.
In the 1980s, the San Francisco had an extraordinary talented team: Quarterback Joe Montana, wide receiver Jerry Rice, tight end Dwight Clark, running back Roger Craig, full back Tom Rathman or defensive back Ronnie Lott harmonized perfectly. With the careful balancing of established and new players, the 49ers were able to replace their veterans who were getting a bit long in the tooth without decreasing the quality of the team. The best example is quarterback Steve Young who replaced Joe Montana in the early 1990s. Between 1981 to 1995 under Bill Walsh and from 1989 under his successor, George Seifert the San Francisco 49ers were able to win five Super Bowls, four NFC runner-up championships and 12 Division titles. Even under Seifert’s successor Steve Mariucci the 49ers were one of the top teams: In his first year in 1997, he led the team to the NFC Championship Game. In the beginning of the 21st century the golden helmets disappeared from the top of the league again. However, a new head coach brought the success back to the Bay: Jim Harbaugh led the team to the NFC Championship Game in his first year and it was awesome to watch a San Francisco live stream back then. A year later, they even played in the Super Bowl. However, the San Francisco 49ers defeated by the Baltimore Ravens that of all people were coached by his older brother John.