The San Francisco 49ers will play in the franchise’s eighth Super Bowl on Sunday in hopes of joining the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots as the only franchises with six Lombardi trophies. It’s such a historical game for many reasons on both sides, but for the Niners, there’s so much on the line, especially once perception enters the room. There’s a lot of good and bad that can come about as a result which makes this game highly anticipated, yet completely nerve-racking for some.
Above is a clip from the last Niners Super Bowl victory in January 1995. They demolished the [San Diego] Chargers, 49-26. Up to that point, San Francisco and its fan base had never experienced defeat in a Super Bowl. They’d improved to a perfect, 5-0 on that day in ’95. The 49ers also became the first franchise in NFL history to win five Super Bowls and accomplished it in fewer than 15 years.
Since that time of the ‘80s and early ‘90s, the team in the City by the Bay has been successful, just not on the same level as those teams led by Joe Montana and Bill Walsh or even Steve Young and George Seifert. San Francisco has been really good, especially within the past 13 years or so.
Over that time, the Niners have appeared in seven NFC title games, winning three. They’ve come out on the losing end in two of those Super Bowls and play in the third on Sunday. Super Bowl LVIII represents a chance for the 49ers to break this losing streak in the biggest football game on earth. It represents an opportunity for revenge facing the same organization that beat them four years ago. A game many feel they should’ve won having led by double-digits entering the fourth quarter.
This game also presents SF with another opportunity to rub a big-time victory in the faces of their most hated non-division rival, the Dallas Cowboys. Both have been stuck on five Super Bowl wins since the 1990s, although the 49ers have been much closer far more frequently than the Cowboys. But a loss for SF on Sunday means they’d be tied with Dallas in Super Bowls all-time at 5-3.
That might not mean much to younger fans, but for anyone who was around during the 1990s, especially, you know how intense that rivalry was and still is to this day. Aside from that, losing three chances in a row to rejoin that elite group holding the most Super Bowl victories is one these Niners surely want to avoid.