Sports Out West

49ers vs Seahawks: Richard Sherman and Jim Harbaugh add fuel to the rivalry

Photo Credit: Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh are adding fuel to the flames of a growing rivalry between two NFL juggernauts. 

Better yet, the NFL’s biggest talker and most entertaining coach are in the same division — the football gods have smiled upon us all once again. 

The two have a history together that dates back to when they were a player-coach duo at Stanford from 2008-2011. It was there that Sherman felt that Harbaugh hurt his draft stock due to perceived negative public comments. Sherman’s father has gone as far as calling the relationship “a passionate hate.”

Whatever the case may be, it’s outstanding fodder for fans of both sides because of the implications. Sherman and wide receiver Doug Baldwin each hold some element of resentment toward their former leader for unknown reasons. Sherman has allowed that to trickle through to his professional career, and it manifested itself on Sunday Night Football when the Pro Bowl cornerback called out Harbaugh for lack of sportsmanship via NFL Network’s live broadcast of the 29-3 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

“I told him good job, good game, but he didn’t give me nothing back,” Sherman told NFL Network of the incident where he ran across the field to pat Harbaugh on the behind as if to say ‘good game.’ “I guess sportsmanship doesn’t go both ways.” 

For what it’s worth, Harbaugh does appear to turn around and give some sort of a gesture toward his former player. When asked about it, Harbaugh explained that he didn’t know who had tapped him and that he wished both Sherman and Baldwin well. 

Sherman is a smart player and individual, and he knows exactly what he’s doing by fanning these flames. He is a motivated player who is unafraid to stir up controversy to perpetuate the narrative that the world is out to get him and his team. Whatever the case may be, the Niners and Hawks will have the chance to go at it at least one more time this season on December 8, 2013 at Candlestick Park. 

All eyes will be on Sherman and Harbaugh — they usually are anyway. 

Photo Credit: Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.