It seems the old rivalry is back to its intense best, at least as far as Seattle Seahawks fans are concerned.
The NFL released its schedule for the 2020 season last week, with the league continuing to forge ahead in this time of COVID-19 with the intention of playing it’s season like normal, beginning on Sept. 10 when the reigning Super Bowl-champion Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans.
Therefore, using the assumption that the games will be played as scheduled, this week’s Seattle Sidelines poll asked readers to examine the Seahawks’ schedule. Specifically, they were asked which of Seattle’s eight home games would they be most interested in attending.
POLL: Which Seahawks home game would you most want to attend in the 2020 season? Full context, including a list of Seattle’s home opponents, here: https://t.co/nhvl3Rm4TP
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) May 11, 2020
When adding up the votes between the poll posted on Twitter and the poll posted on the blog, it was no contest. Two-thirds of the responders (67%) said the CenturyLink Field game they’d most want to attend in person is the game against the San Francisco 49ers. The other three options — the Dallas Cowboys (12%), New England Patriots (11%) and other (10%) — all paled in comparison.
The results are an indication that the rivalry that burned so hot nearly a decade ago has been restored to its place at the tip of Seahawks fans’ passions.
In 2012 and 2013 the Seahawks-49ers rivalry became the most-heated one in the NFL as the franchises vied not only for supremacy in the NFC West, but the NFL as a whole — San Francisco lost the Super Bowl in the 2012 season, Seattle won it in the 2013 season. The games between the two teams became must-see affairs. Coaches Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh didn’t like one another, neither did the players. The head-to-head matchups were like 15-round prize fights in which the boxers stood toe-to-toe throwing haymakers the entire time. The climax was Seattle’s dramatic win the 2013 NFC championship game, which ended with the end-zone interception that became known as “The Tip.”
But the rivalry fizzled from there. Harbaugh left the 49ers, eliminating one of the rivalry’s focal points, and San Francisco sunk into irrelevance as Seattle won nine straight meetings from 2014-2018.
But the rivalry sparked back to life in a big way last season. San Francisco underwent a dramatic nine-game turnaround as the 49ers and Seahawks battled for the division title. Richard Sherman, architect of “The Tip,” defected from Seattle to San Francisco to add spice to the proceedings. The two games between the teams last season were among the NFL’s best.
And the poll results indicate fans are fully back on board with the Seahawks-49ers rivalry. The Evil Empire (New England)? America’s Team (Dallas)? It didn’t matter. No other team was able to put much of a dent into Seattle fans’ intense feelings about the 49ers.
Seattle is scheduled to host San Francisco on Nov. 11. No doubt Seahawks fans have that date etched into their minds as when they hope any fan restrictions at NFL games are over.