Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
How can a team emerge victorious in each of its five Super Bowl appearances and remain irrelevant in an era of parity?
You lose, lose and lose some more.
San Francisco took care of that by posting only 2 winning seasons over the last 12 years. Their 6.5 win average during that time span barely eclipses their Super Bowl total. If that doesn't show you how bad things have gone in the Bay Area, nothing will.
The 49ers tried to give more evidence of their ineptitude as they managed to qualify for the postseason only twice since 1998. They pulled of a win in 2002 against the New York Giants thanks to an epic collapse.
Jeremy Shockey dropped a touchdown, Trey Junkin botched a snap and the Giants defense couldn't stop Jeff Garcia. It resulted in the second-biggest comeback in NFL history as the 49ers dug themselves out of a 24-point hole and won 39-38.
Outside of an incredibly lucky moment, the 49ers faithful have been watching DVDs of their past Super Bowl wins while the rest of the fans are watching their teams in the playoffs.
And it's not like the 49ers have been stuck in a tough division.
They are playing in the NFC West.
Going back to 2002 when divisions were realigned the winner of the NFC West has posted the following win totals: 10, 12, 9, 13, 9, 10, 9, 10, 7.
When you win only one division title during those years, you are irrelevant. When you can sneak into the playoffs through the Wild Card, you are irrelevant.
When your only association to playing in the Super Bowl comes through Mike Greenberg's 2010 prediction you are the biggest non-factor to have ever won a Super Bowl.
Things aren't going to turn around anytime soon with Alex Smith out there.
In case you didn't know who was on the first slide I thought I would clue you in. It's none other than Tim Rattay. Other options were Shaun Hill or Trent Dilfer.
Have fun living in obscurity San Fran.