Seahawk/49er Rivalry – More Hype Than Substance?
I was watching yesterday's Seahawk game on TV, and it hit me. While watching the montage of Coaches Carroll and Harbaugh, (which was only footage of them in college) I realized that the "rivalry" isn't really what the TV wants you to think it is. The analysts wants you to think that this is the next Steelers/Ravens or Packers/Bears rivalry, and it just isn't.
It has all the makings for a great rivalry. Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh's rich history in the then-PAC 10. Two surprising rises to power from the NFC West. But that's all that it is; the makings. I feel like someone is trying to make this "happen". The only heated rivalry here is the one between the fans. I'm starting to feel this rivalry was born in the office, not on the field.
Carroll and Harbaugh haven't been at each other since their days at USC and Stanford, respectively. The handshake Harbaugh denied Richard Sherman? Sherman played for Harbaugh at Stanford. Harbaugh is just an ass for leaving him hanging, if he even noticed him there.
I honestly don't think the players on these teams hate each other. Sure you see some scrums, but there were more of those between the 49ers and Rams. Pete Carroll said it's "just another game." That's probably all it really is. Don't get me wrong, these two teams have played some crazy games over the last two years, but I generally don't think the players of these teams hate each other.
The Seahawks have only been in the NFC since 2002, and by that time San Francisco was pretty dormant. When the Seahawks were in their previous hey-day, St. Louis and Arizona were the ones tasked with keeping them honest. Arizona, of course being NFC West champions in 2008 and 2009. Seattle and San Francisco haven't ever faced each other in the playoffs since being in the same division.
I know the Seahawks fans hate the 49ers, and the 49er fans hate the Seahawks. Some of the fans even hate each other. But, do you really think this rivalry is up there with the Eagles/Giants, Packers/Bears, or Steelers/Ravens? Is there substance to hold this together?