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Historical Highlights


Super Bowl XVI  was a sight to behold. Thousands of 49er fans desperately clamored for tickets to see the 49ers first chance at a world championship. The scene in Pontiac, where the temperature was minus 27 degrees with the windchill, was laughable. San Franciscans, with nothing warmer in their wardrobe than a London Fog raincoat, wandered around in Arctic conditions, shivering but uncomplaining. They were just happy to be there, and they were rewarded. When the 49ers walked away with a 26-21 victory, grown men stood in the aisles at the Silverdome with tears of joy shamelessly running down their cheeks.

By the time the 49ers got their second Super Bowl ring in 1985, most of the starting cast had changed. The main cogs were still in place with Joe Montana and Dwight Clark, but now they had a backfield. And in the Super Bowl at Stanford Stadium, Roger Craig stole the show by scoring three touchdowns.

San Francisco returned to the Super Bowl again in January 1989, but this time it was Jerry Rice who captured everyone's attention. A year earlier, he scored 23 touchdowns en route to the NFL Player-of-the-Year award. Playing in his first Super Bowl, Rice was ready to set the world on fire. At any rate, Rice's big play capability and Montana's last minute heroics ensured the 49ers of a 20-16 Super Bowl win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Rice was named Super Bowl MVP catching 11 passes for 215 yards, a Super Bowl record.

"Super Bowl champions don't repeat."

That's what every football insider had been saying since the Pittsburgh Steelers won consecutive titles back in the 1970's. And, perhaps, that made Bill Walsh think twice about staying on as the 49ers coach. A week after winning Super Bowl XXIII, he turned the reins over to George Seifert.

Seifert was ready for the challenge as he guided the 49ers to their fourth Super Bowl win in 1990 with a dominating 55-10 defeat of the Denver Broncos. Through it all, Seifert provided a steadying influence. But he got help from several key players, two of whom were eventually inducted into Pro Football's Hall of Fame in Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott in 2000. Montana was the Super Bowl MVP that year, for a record third time. Montana completed 22 of 29 passes for 297 yards and a Super Bowl-record five touchdowns.

The 1994 San Francisco 49ers completed one of the most impressive seasons in NFL history by capturing their NFL-record fifth Super Bowl championship at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami. San Francisco defeated the San Diego Chargers 49-26 in Super Bowl XXIX  to put the finishing touches on a 16-3 season and win an unprecedented fifth Vince Lombardi Trophy.