The 49ers, thanks in large part to Joe Montana, are a perfect 5-0 in Super Bowls. San Francisco's most recent Super Bowl appearance came in Super Bowl XXIX, when Steve Young led San Francisco to a 49-26 blowout win.
Talk about lofty standards to live up to.
Harbaugh spoke about San Francisco's golden history on Sunday night, after his 49ers landed in New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII, but told the media that this is "new business."
"There's a great 49ers history, and we're proud of that," head coach Jim Harbaugh said at a Sunday night news conference at the Marriott, the team's headquarters. "This is new business, and our team is focused on winning a championship."
Undoubtedly, the 1994 49ers had no shortage of star power. San Francisco's last championship football team boasted five future Hall of Famers -- Deion Sanders, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Richard Dent and Riley Jackson.
Unlike those '94 Niners, it's unknown how many from the 2012 team will be inducted into Canton's Hall of Fame (though, Randy Moss is a lock). Aside from Moss, there are no slam dunks -- maybe a case can be made for Justin Smith, while Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith have many more years to play before anybody can start a Hall of Fame discussion.
This is certainly "new business," as many players on San Francisco's roster need a Super Bowl ring to help establish or cement a legacy.
49ers offensive tackle Joe Staley echoed Harbuagh's sentiment, saying that the 49ers are "trying to establish [their] own identity," and that they're "trying to create [their] own tradition."
After 18 games, the 49ers certainly have their own identity under Harbaugh. San Francisco's defense is tenacious, and at times, carried the 49ers this season. The 49ers' offense morphed mid-season, when Harbaugh made the decision to bench Alex Smith, in the middle of a career-year, for the relatively unknown Colin Kaepernick.
If Staley and the 49ers want to create their own tradition, they'll certainly need to walk off the field on Sunday as Super Bowl XLVII champions. After all, the Niners have never lost a Super Bowl in franchise history. After last year's heartbreaking NFC Championship game loss to the New York Giants, it's unlikely that the 49ers, or Niners fans, want to start remembering this particular brand of 49ers as a team that is unable to seal the deal.
A Super Bowl win, however, would cement the '12 Niners' place in franchise history, and start a new chapter of 49ers success -- one led by a tenacious defense and a quarterback who operates out of the read-option offense.
A loss would cement this team's place in 49ers history, too -- as the first 49ers team to ever lose the Super Bowl, which is certainly history that Harbaugh and his team want to avoid.
Win or lose, the 49ers will add to their storied history on Sunday. Jim Harbaugh certainly hopes that it's for the right reasons.