The Seahawks face-off against the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday night in prime time for their home opener at Seahawks Stadium. This is the game every 12 circled on the schedule after it was released. The rivalry has blossomed upon the arrival of Jim Harbaugh. The coaches, players, and fan bases for both teams can’t stand each other.
Coaches and Players
In 2009, Harbaugh’s Stanford Cardinal faced off against Pete Carroll’s Trojans. Stanford scored a touchdown in the 4th quarter to take a 48-21 lead. Harbaugh went for the 2-point conversion instead of opting to kick the extra point (PAT), which led Carroll to wonder what Harbaugh’s deal was.
Harbaugh and post-game handshakes don’t always seem to mix well together.
Let’s face it, Harbaugh is a good football coach and has a proven track record of success, but it doesn’t change the fact that he is a douche bag. He throws tantrums and whines to the NFL like a big cry baby. A perfect fit for the Forty Whiner fan base.
Harbaugh’s antics have even provided the inspiration for a parody of Psy’s one-hit wonder “Gangnam Style”.
Douche-Bag Harbaugh Style
While at Stanford, Harbaugh coached cornerback Richard Sherman (#25) and wide receiver Doug Baldwin (#89).
Baldwin was signed by the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2011. He has turned out to be a great slot and 3rd down receiver for the Seahawks. During a press conference with Carroll, he was asked how Baldwin went undrafted. Caroll replied that Baldwin’s college coaches did not think he could play in the NFL. Looks like Baldwin has proved his coaches wrong. After catching 2 touchdowns in the 42-13 beat down of the 49er’s last December 23rd (Jim Harbaugh’s birthday), Baldwin told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob and Groz show that the win was “extra special”.
During that same beat down of the 49ers, Sherman urged Carroll to go for a 2-point conversion after a touchdown. Sherman had an outstanding game to include scooping and scoring a special teams touchdown off a blocked 49er field goal attempt. It was a birthday present from Sherman to his former coach. There is no love lost between Sherman and Harbaugh.
The Hawks and 49ers had met earlier that year in San Francisco for a Thursday Night football match up. It was a close and physical game. The 49ers ended up winning 13-6. After the win, Harbaugh complained to the NFL that Sherman and cornerback Brandon Browner (#39) were not penalized for playing too physical against the 49er receivers. Harbaugh wanted clarification from the NFL on the rules prior to the Week 16 game against the Seahawks.
Harbaugh showed his hypocrisy. A week earlier Harbaugh publicly chastised NY Giants Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride for comments Gilbride made about NFL officials allowing 49ers defensive end Justin Smith get away with holding offensive lineman. Harbaugh alleged Gilbride was only complaining to influence the officiating.
Sherman, never short on words, told Danny O’Neill of the Seattle Times that Harbaugh was a bully that finally got bullied back.
Baldwin even weighed-in on Harbaugh’s comments via his twitter account.
After the loss to the 49ers in San Francisco that Thursday night, Free Safety Earl Thomas (#29) told the media that Harbaugh honked his car’s horn and saluted the Seahawks team bus as it drove away from Candlestick Park. Harbaugh denied honking at the Seahawks. He said the incident couldn’t have happened because he didn’t leave Candlestick Park until after the Seahawks had already left. He claimed the story was a fabrication.
The disdain towards Harbaugh has rubbed off on Browner and wide receiver Golden Tate (#81). On Seattle Sports Radio 950 KJR, Browner advised he would like to choke out Harbaugh. This was in response to Harbaugh’s comments about performance enhancing drug (PED) suspensions of Seahawks players. Harbaugh had said he wanted to be above reproach and even quoted Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler, “If you cheat to win, you already lost.” Harbaugh said Schembechler is about as close to the word of God as person can get.
Tate had told 710 ESPN Seattle that he would like to give Harbaugh the Sean Lee Treatment.
Five weeks later, the 49ers acquired cornerback Erick Wright from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Wright received a four game suspension in the 2012 season for testing positive for a PED.
The 49er fan base commonly refer to themselves as “The Faithful”. I don’t know how faithful they have been considering they have appeared to wane in intensity prior to 2011. Perhaps they are as faithful as Diane Lane? The 49er fans have come out of the wood work since the franchise advanced in the playoffs and made it to the Superbowl. They are arrogant and love to gloat about their team’s five Superbowl rings and Quest for Six. Most of them weren’t even a twinkle in their daddy’s eye when Dwight Clark made “The Catch”. It was pleasurable witnessing The Faithful’s reaction to their loss in the Superbowl this year.
The most annoying type of 49er fan is the Pacific Northwest 49er fan. Where do they come from? How did they get here? And why don’t they leave?
Being a member of The Faithful does have job hazards. In recent years there have been several incidents of beatings, stabbings, and shootings at Candlestick park during or after 49er games. They even like to take their carnage on the road. This past year an Atlanta Falcon fan was stabbed in the neck by a 49er fan outside the Georgia Dome after the NFC championship game.
Of course one of The Faithful, Sarah Brown of Vancouver, Washington, wrote a letter to the editors of the Columbian and the Seattle Times this past year complaining about her experience at Seahawks Stadium while attending the December 23rd game between the Hawks and 49ers. She was upset because some 12s were trash talking to her group because they were wearing 49ers gear. I guess its better than being stabbed for wearing a Cowboys jersey.
The feud between the Seahawks and 49ers for NFC West primacy will continue for several years. Another chapter in this story is about to be written this coming Sunday.