Sports Out West

Is the 49ers-Seahawks rivalry getting too ugly?

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It’s only June and the rivalry between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks is heating up faster than the weather.  In fact, the rivalry is becoming downright ugly.  The teams are both tough and will compete to win the NFC Championship next season. If each team plays to their potential, both have a shot at winning the Super Bowl.  But what makes this rivalry even more unique is the pure hatred felt between not just the players, but the coaches as well.  Each team continues to jab at one another this offseason, fueling the fire for a Week 2 showdown in the upcoming season. 

 

The rivalry between the coaches goes back to their days coaching in the Pac-10 conference.  Jim Harbaugh was coaching the Stanford Cardinal and Pete Carroll was in his last season with the USC Trojans.  They faced off in 2009 with Harbaugh’s Stanford team winning 55-21.  Despite the considerable lead, his team attempted a 2-point conversion near the end of the game, which is said to have rubbed Carroll the wrong way.  Afterwards during the post game handshake, Carroll asked Harbaugh “What’s your deal?”  This difference in style and sportsmanship has continued to power the rivalry to the current day. 

 

Earlier this June, Harbaugh commented on Seattle’s PED suspensions stating,

”It has no place in an athlete’s body. Play by the rules.  You always want to be above reproach, especially when you’re good, because you don’t want people to come back and say, ‘They’re winning because they’re cheating…because if you don’t, if you cheat to win, then you’ve already lost, according to Bo Schembechler. And Bo Schembechler is about next to the word of God as you can get in my mind. It’s not the word of God, but it’s close.”

This comment sparked incensed reactions from the Seahawks players.  Brandon Browner expressed a desire to take it on the field,

“He’s a coach.  He’s never gonna be out there lined up against me.  I wish he would; I’d put my hands around his neck.”

Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate took it a step further when asked how he would react to playing against Harbaugh,

“Well, I’d be on offense trying to score a touchdown on him. Defensively, that’s a little different because they tackle and they can really be aggressive. … But I would try and give him the Sean Lee treatment. I would do that.”

The treatment as Tate calls it, references a brutal blind-side block he used on the Dallas linebacker last season. 

 

This is what rivalries are made of.  Two great teams facing off on the field and talking trash off the field.  It sparks the players to put it all on the field.  It rallies the fans and triggers the media.  Sometimes it gets a little dirty, but it always makes for good football.  One thing is certain, the battle between the Seahawks and 49ers in Week 2 will be hard fought and enjoyable to watch. 

Photo Credit: NFL Schedules/Flickr.com

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Brianna Brooks

Brianna Brooks is a freelance journalist from Washington state currently living in Louisville, Kentucky. She has written for Yahoo! Sports as well as Zagaholic.com, a blog site dedicated to Gonzaga University basketball. Although knowledgeable about many sports (college basketball, NFL, MLB, and horse racing) her true passion lies with the Gonzaga Bulldogs.