San Francisco 49ers Trivia

The San Francisco 49ers: Winning Their First NFC Championship in 1981

Table of Contents:

Hey there, trivia enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving into the thrilling world of the San Francisco 49ers, a team that’s etched its name in the annals of American football history. In this edition, we’re tackling a popular question from the The San Francisco 49ers Trivia Quiz.

So get ready to test your knowledge and learn about the team’s gripping journey to glory in their first NFC Championship win!

Here’s Our Question of the Day

See if you can answer this question from The San Francisco 49ers Trivia Quiz before reading on.

The 49ers’ First NFC Championship Win

The San Francisco 49ers made history when they won their first NFC Championship in the year 1981, marking a significant milestone in the franchise’s journey to becoming one of the most successful teams in the NFL.

The 1981 NFC Championship game took place on January 10, 1982, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, with the 49ers facing off against the Dallas Cowboys, their longtime rivals.

The game, often referred to as the ‘The Catch’ game, is etched in NFL history not only for the exceptional performance of the 49ers but also for the iconic game-winning play that has become legendary in football lore.

The Road to Victory

Led by head coach Bill Walsh, the 49ers finished the 1981 regular season with a 13-3 record, showcasing their dominance in the league. The team’s stellar performance earned them the top seed in the NFC, setting the stage for their playoff run.

In the NFC Championship game, the 49ers and the Cowboys engaged in a fierce battle, with the lead changing hands multiple times. However, it was the 49ers’ resilience and determination that ultimately led them to a thrilling 28-27 victory, securing their first NFC Championship title.

The Legendary ‘The Catch’

The defining moment of the 1981 NFC Championship game came in the final minutes, with quarterback Joe Montana orchestrating a remarkable drive that culminated in one of the most famous plays in NFL history.

On a crucial third down, Montana connected with wide receiver Dwight Clark for a leaping touchdown catch, forever immortalized as ‘The Catch.’ This iconic moment not only clinched the game for the 49ers but also cemented its place as a timeless symbol of triumph and excellence in the sport.

Misconceptions about the 49ers’ First NFC Championship Win

Incorrect Answer: 1994

While the 49ers won their fifth and most recent NFC Championship in 1994, this was not their first. The team’s first NFC Championship win actually occurred in 1981.

The 1994 championship win is often remembered fondly by fans due to the team’s remarkable season, but it’s important to distinguish between this victory and the 49ers’ inaugural NFC Championship triumph.

Incorrect Answer: 1984

Contrary to popular belief, the 1984 NFC Championship was not the team’s first. While the 49ers did achieve great success in 1984, capturing their second Super Bowl title, their first NFC Championship win actually occurred three years earlier, in 1981.

It’s understandable that the 1984 victory might overshadow the 1981 win in the minds of some fans, particularly given the team’s impressive season and their subsequent Super Bowl triumph, but historical accuracy is key when discussing the 49ers’ early successes.

Incorrect Answer: 1988

While the 49ers did indeed win the NFC Championship in 1988 during their dominant run in the late 1980s, this was not their first NFC Championship victory. The team’s first NFC Championship win actually took place in 1981, marking a significant milestone in the franchise’s history.

The 1988 NFC Championship victory may be remembered as part of the team’s overall legacy of success in the 1980s, but it’s essential to recognize that the 49ers’ initial triumph in the NFC Championship occurred seven years earlier.


To sum it up, the San Francisco 49ers clinched their first NFC Championship in the year 1981, marking a significant milestone in the team’s illustrious history.

If you’re intrigued by more trivia about one of the most iconic teams in American football history, why not test your knowledge in our San Francisco 49ers Trivia Quiz? Unearth more compelling facts and let the thrill of the game fuel your competitive spirit!

Professor Leonard Whitman