The history of the San Francisco 49ers has been one of lauded highs and horrible lows, with a great deal of ho-hum in between. In order to help 49er fans better appreciate any resurgence that the Jim Harbaugh era might offer, assembled below are some miserable moments in 49er history.
OJ Simpson Becomes A 49er
Setting aside his future legal troubles, OJ’s career with San Francisco was completely forgettable. The 49ers traded five draft picks to the Buffalo Bills for the hometown hero, and he gave them two injury plagued seasons.
The 1982 Season
During the 1981 season, the 49ers went 13-3 and won what would be the first of five Super Bowls. In 1982, the NFL had a strike that resulted in the cancellation of seven games. For the nine remaining games, the 49ers went 3-6, and the fans were left to wonder if the previous season had all been a dream.
The Trade And Release Of Jim Plunkett
In 1976, the 49ers traded one player, three first round draft picks and a second round pick to the New England Patriots for Stanford alum and Heisman trophy winner Jim Plunkett. He would lead the team to 13 wins and 15 losses before being released in 1978. He would be signed by the rival Oakland Raiders and see minimal action for the next two years, before eventually reviving his career and leading the Raiders to two Super Bowl victories.
George Seifert Resigns
In 1997, George Seifert resigned as Head Coach of the San Francisco 49ers. At the time, he had the best winning percentage of any coach in NFL history and had taken the team to two Super Bowl victories. For good measure, he was a native of “the City”. Seifert was replaced with Steve Mariucci, whose head coaching experience consisted of one 6-6 season at the University of California . For 49er fans, the great era was over and the time of mediocrity had begun.
Eddie D. Loses Control Of The Team
Eddie DeBartolo bought the 49ers in 1977. After a rocky start, the team won five Super Bowls. Legal troubles forced him to cede control of the team to his sister in 2000. After an initial flirtation with adequacy, the team has undergone an eight year playoff drought, which may just end in the 2011 season, thanks to a new coach, maturing team and weak division.