The San Francisco 49ers have developed some pretty heated rivalries in their 70-plus years of existence. Niner Noise looks at the five biggest ones for the red and gold.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary described a rival as “one of two or more striving to reach or obtain something that only one can possess.”
For the San Francisco 49ers, heated rivalries with other NFL squads are just as much a part of Niners lore as “The Catch,” the 1980s dynasty, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and so much more.
San Francisco has been blessed with some tremendous rivalries over the years.
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Some are based off great moments between storied franchises. Others are regional. And some are based off divisions, such as the NFC West and the number of times each team has to play each other over any given season.
In order to truly be a rival, both teams have to have gone through periods where they were good. Ideally, both teams are good at the same time. A completely one-sided rivalry isn’t much of a rivalry at all.
Thankfully, the Niners have had a share of those. And we’ll break down the five biggest here.
But before we reach that point, let’s look at a few rivalries that didn’t quite make the cut.