The San Francisco 49ers, the first NFL team to capture five Super Bowl championships, are hoping to become the second franchise with six.
The Niners, which are owned by John and Denise DeBartolo York of Canfield, rallied from a 17-0 deficit Sunday to defeat the Atlanta Falcons, 28-24, to earn their sixth Super Bowl appearance.
On Feb. 3, the Niners will play the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII in the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
Under Eddie DeBartolo’s ownership, the 49ers won the Super Bowl after the 1981, 1984, 1988, 1989 and 1994 seasons. They are the only NFL team with multiple wins and an unbeaten record in Super Bowls.
For the Yorks, the Quest for Six is the pinnacle of their 14 seasons since taking control of the team from DeBartolo Jr., Denise’s brother.
In 2009, the Yorks named their oldest son, Jed, the team’s president. At 32, the Cardinal Mooney grad is now the team’s chief executive officer.
Asked what a return to the Super Bowl after such a long drought meant to him, Jed York said, “It’s not just me; it’s the entire family. It’s my uncle being here, being the honorary captain, giving the Halas Trophy to my mom. Having our whole family, my son being here, that’s what the 49ers are about. Whether it’s the DeBartolo family, the York family, the extended 49er family, that’s what this team’s about.”
DeBartolo served as one of the 49ers’ honorary captains and presented the Halas Trophy to the Yorks in the 49ers locker room.
“We’ve come full circle,” said Denise DeBartolo York, “and the dynasty will prevail.”
It’s been a long journey for the 49ers back to elite status. In the spring of 1999, the franchise was entering salary cap hell from the overspending in the mid-’90s that led to the fifth Super Bowl title.
Sunday’s win was the team’s biggest win since defeating the San Diego Chargers in 1995.
The Niners qualified for the postseason in the 2001 and 2002 seasons, then missed the postseason for eight seasons.
The 49ers and Dallas Cowboys each have won five Super Bowls. The Pittsburgh Steelers are the only team with six championship victories since the Super Bowl was created in 1967.