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The reason why Super Bowl contenders San Francisco 49ers are called the '49ers'

Alex Brotherton

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The reason why Super Bowl contenders San Francisco 49ers are called the '49ers'

The San Francisco 49ers will take to the field in the Super Bowl on Sunday - but why are they called the 49ers?

Super Bowl LVIII will see the San Francisco 49ers go head-to-head with the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday for the honour of being crowned the best team in the NFL.

The clash at the Allegiant Stadium near Las Vegas promises to be a game for the ages; The 49ers are arguably the most iconic American Football team on the planet, a franchise recognised across the world having won five Super Bowls with several NFL legends pulling on the famous red and gold jerseys over the years.

The Kansas City Chiefs have dominated the NFL in recent years; this will be their fourth Super Bowl appearance in five years, and are looking to add to their wins in 2020 and 2023.

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There are endless stories and angles that will dominate the headlines in the days leading up to the game, from Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce's romance to whether the 49ers will be able to break down a stubborn Chiefs defence.

But the most important question that NFL newbies want to know is: Why are the 49ers called the 49ers?

A short history lesson is required to find the answer.

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The '49ers' is the nickname given to prospectors who flocked to northern California in 1849 hoping to take advantage of the gold rush and get rich quick.

The 49ers beat the Detroit Lions to secure a place in the Super Bowl. (Credit: Getty).
The 49ers beat the Detroit Lions to secure a place in the Super Bowl. (Credit: Getty).

The influx of opportunists saw California's population surge and as a result the state's economy started booming. The Golden State was admitted into the union in 1850, and the '49ers' were seen as a big reason why.

When Tony Morabito - the owner of a lumber hauling business - founded an American football team in San Francisco in 1946, one of his business partners - Allen E. Sorrell - suggested adopting the '49er' name after the voyagers who travelled West looking for gold.

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The San Francisco 49ers were born, and since then have never been affiliated with another name or relocated away from San Francisco.

Super Bowl LVIII between the 49ers and the Chiefs will kick-off at 11:30pm GMT on Sunday, February 11.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: NFL, Super Bowl

Alex Brotherton
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