We know the 2016 Super Bowl will be hosted by the San Francisco 49ers at the new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, after today’s vote among NFL owners made it so. But what teams will be playing in the historic 50th Super Bowl? The red and gold are talented, motivated, and young enough to turn the championship into a home game, but the path to that glorious outcome won’t be easy. Trust us. We have a crystal ball.
The 49ers cruise through the NFC again, including a sweep of the archrival Seattle Seahawks. The teams meet for a third time in the NFC Championship Game, where showers of Adderall pills inexplicably fall from the upper rafters at Candlestick Park during the coin flip. Unable to resist, the entire Seattle defense pounces on the meds in plain view of the officials, who have no choice but to eject all 11 players from the game. Left with only backups, the Seahawks are trampled by our Niners, 47-7. (The shutout is ruined by these two referees, who were filling in for Ed Hochuli after he suffered a tragic bicep curling accident the night before the game).
Expectations are high in the 49ers’ return to the Super Bowl, but disappointment reigns again. Unfortunately, they run into the upstart Kansas City Chiefs and get shredded by the golden arm of Alex Smith, who passes for 400 yards and three touchdowns in an upset win. Jim Harbaugh addresses the media after the game, confusingly stating that Alex Smith is still his guy, and he has no intention to trade him away. (He later blames an accidental Adderall dosing for his confusion.) Here at San Francisco Magazine, we burn our heartfelt goodbye letter to Smith.
Commissioner Roger Goodell ruins the 49ers' chances at a third straight Super Bowl appearance by going on another appearance-policing tirade. Colin Kaepernick is suspended four games and fined for having “excessive tattoos,” and the team as a whole must forfeit two games, as mandated by the league, for former safety Merton Hanks’ previously unpunished “excessive celebrations” in the early 90’s.
The Niners have to sit at home and watch the ferociously-named expansion L.A. Sandcrabs and their star quarterback Brett Favre take on the San Diego Chargers and their born-again QB Tim Tebow (who won the job after Philip Rivers took too many hits to the head and had his face permanently frozen like this) in a Southern California Super Bowl. San Diego linebacker Manti Te'o spots his holy-shit-she-turned-out-to-be-real girlfriend Lennay Kekua in the stands during the National Anthem. Filled with relief, pride, and repressed sexual fervor, Te'o makes 38 tackles and is named MVP in the 41-35 win.
Te'o and Tebow retire after the game and go in on a juice bar business together in Indonesia, where definitely-not-dead Kekua has been hiding out for three years.
The big year finally arrives, and with Kaepernick becoming the best QB in football, Goodell excommunicated to the CFL (where football careers go to die), and Jim Harbaugh re-hiring Mike Singletary to serve as a personal motivator to the team's hipster, too-busy-painting tight end Vernon Davis, the 49ers make another run at the Super Bowl. In Frank Gore's final season, the Niners match up with the Oakland Raiders, who accomplish a complete franchise turnaround when 19 of their players all come off parole at the same time (with an assist from closet Black Hole dweller, Gov. Jerry Brown), to create an epic Bay Bridge Super Bowl in 2016.
A tightly contested battle comes down to the wire, but Raiders QB Mark Sanchez can only hand the ball off for so long. After Patrick Willis sends the Raiders' fifth-string running back to the sidelines in the third quarter, Sanchez is forced to run a QB sneak, and hilariously recreates his famous butt-fumble of 2013 lore. The 49ers scoop it up and bring it in for the go-ahead touchdown.
In the waning seconds, the Raiders have one last chance to tie on a hail mary. Aldon Smith spins through the offensive line and creeps up on Sanchez from behind, forcing a fumble as the QB tucks the ball to his chest. In another cruel twist of irony, the Raiders lose on the recently-reinstated tuck rule, and the 49ers finally celebrate their sixth Super Bowl title with a 24-17 win.