The 49ers-Seahawks Rivalry Isn’t as Intense as You Think

When it comes to rivalries, it’s hard to beat the one between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks. Between 49ers legends Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, and Steve Young and Seahawks standouts Steve Largent, Marshawn Lynch, and Russell Wilson, the two franchises had several fan favorites don their colors.

The two teams can’t stop winning, either, which makes every game they play that much more exciting. Fans love the rivalry and can’t get enough of the trash talk between the two teams. But while it’s fun to watch, you have to wonder — is the rivalry as intense as it appears?

‘No love lost’ between the Seahawks and 49ers

While it may seem like the rivalry between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers has been going on forever, it reached its high point over the past decade. 

The Seahawks didn’t join the NFC until 2002, meaning the two teams weren’t even competing against each other regularly before then. In 2014, when former Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman described the rivalry between the two teams, he said, “There’s no love lost. There’s no love found.” He also added that while hate is a strong word, there is definitely a strong dislike.

Asked why he thought the rivalry was so heated, Sherman had a simple response — both teams are winning. Sherman joked, “If both teams were 4-12, it wouldn’t be such an intense rivalry.” Sherman knows a thing or two about rivalries — he and Tom Brady have a bitter one that’s lasted for years.

Richard Sherman switches sided in the rivalry

There's 'no love lost' on the field, but it turns out the 49ers-Seahawks rivalry isn't as intense as you think.
Richard Sherman suits up for the 49ers now.| Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Since Sherman’s 2014 remarks, the Niners have struggled over the past few seasons. But this year, they’re back on top. Ironically, Sherman switched sides when the Seahawks released the cornerback in 2018. Within days, the 49ers scooped Sherman up, offering him a 3-year, $39 million contract

In the latest matchup between the two teams, Seattle traveled down to San Francisco for the 52nd battle between the two franchies. The game score was back and forth the whole game, with Seattle tying it up in the fourth. The Seahawks won the game in OT on Jason Myers’ 42-yard field goal. 

The two teams are fighting for the top spot in the NFC

Of course, the media likes to play into the rivalry. It’s especially fun now that Sherman has switched sides. And if Sherman’s remarks about both teams winning still holds true, the rivalry between the two NFC West juggernauts isn’t likely to end soon. 

NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice thinks if there’s one team that can stop the 49ers from getting to the Super Bowl, it’s Seattle, especially after the Seahawks win against San Francisco earlier in the 2019 season. They square off in the regular-season finale Dec. 29, but there’s a chance they could meet again in the postseason. Will the Seahawks go 2-0 over the Niners, or will San Francisco even things up? One thing’s for sure — it’s going to be exciting to watch these two teams fight it out for that top spot in the NFC West. 

The 49ers-Seahawks rivalry may not be as intense as you think 

There's 'no love lost' when they're on the field, but the 49ers-Seahawks rivalry isn't as intense as you think.
Richard Sherman (left) and Russell Wilson have a chat on the field. | Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

The latest game between the two teams was just as exciting as fans hoped it would be. But while many people thought the game would intensify the rivalry between the two teams, events during (and after) the game may prove the opposite

During the game, Seattle wide receiver Tyler Lockett suffered a serious shin bruise. He went to the hospital as a result. When Lockett arrived at the hospital, he asked the staff whether they had a Game Ready device, a new tool designed to apply compression therapy. When the staff told Lockett that they didn’t have the device he was looking for, Lockett inquired about getting one from the 49ers. They had one, and they immediately brought it to the hospital. It’s a move that certainly shows the rivalry isn’t as intense as it appears.

Despite the rivalry between the two, the two teams don’t want to play dirty. Their rivalry was borne out of competition. You can only compete with the best when the other side is at its best. The 49ers showed that they aren’t without sportsmanship and that the rivalry only intensifies on the field. We have a feeling if the situation was reversed, Seattle would do exactly the same.