I’m a Seattle Seahawks fan. Know that from the beginning. I’ve been one since Chuck Knox was coach and I still hate the Oakland Raiders (or Los Angeles or wherever). Yet I get two fewer chances to be a Raider hater since the Seahawks moved to the NFC. So I’ve come to hate the San Francisco 49ers.
They’ve earned the spot by becoming an annual contender for the NFC West title. If you don’t count that 42-13 stomping Seattle put on San Francisco in 2012, the 49ers always play the Seahawks tough.
I’m doing my best to be objective here. When I take a cool professional look at the two NFC West rivals, I get the feeling the Seahawks have their feces consolidated and the 49ers do not.
In April, Seattle signed Pete Carroll to a contract extension through 2016.
Jim Harbaugh‘s contract expires in 2015 and extension negotiations have been sluggish. The Cleveland Browns attempted to trade for him. He’s been rumored to want more money and power. The 49ers refused to talk trade and reports of Harbaugh being disgruntled may be only blah-blah, but players and fans are forced to hear it.
And then there’s the public perception that Harbaugh is just hard to get along with. People don’t like him. Now, being a great football coach and being everyone’s buddy are usually opposite things, but everyone loves Carroll. I’d jump out of the space shuttle for him if he said it would win the Seahawks another Super Bowl.
My wife won’t allow it, but I seriously want to name my next kid Pete Carroll if he’s a boy and Carroll Pete if she’s a girl.
Furthermore, consider Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch and San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis. Lynch and Davis are both publicly dissatisfied with their contracts. Lynch will make $5 million and be the fifth highest paid running back in the league. Davis will make $4.7 million and be seventh among tight ends. The difference? Lynch showed up to camp. He’ll be working with his team while his agent works out the money part. Davis is holding out, doing nothing for his team until the money is right.
Thanks for putting football first, Beast Mode. There will be plenty of money for everyone if you win another Super Bowl.
And then there are the quarterbacks. Russell Wilson is still the first player at work and the last one to leave. Colin Kaepernick is becoming famous for other things. Now I know no charges were filed regarding that Miami thing and the woman involved may have been crazy, but you don’t see Wilson partying with crazy women.
Wilson did file for divorce this offseason. The bright side for the Seahawks: he’s probably tough to be married to at this stage in his career. That guy’s married to his football team.
Just a gut feeling here from a Seattle fan, but I’d rather be lead by Wilson than Kaepernick.
Plus, the Seahawks have stronger leadership in their defense. This is key to maintaining the superiority both teams have enjoyed. Seattle’s defense is lead by cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas, who both got big new contracts this year. San Francisco is led by Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith and NaVorro Bowman. Willis is four years closer to the end of his career than Thomas. Smith can’t stay out of trouble or focused on football. Bowman will miss about half the season recovering from a torn ACL.
Sherman and Thomas have been spending much energy coaching up Tharold Simon and the other young defensive backs. I have a good feeling about that.
And you can’t talk Seahawks without mentioning the 12th Man. Seattle has the best fans in football. It’s not just a belief or something the decibel meter says. It was proven at the Super Bowl.
Seattle brought enough noisy fanatics all the way to New Jersey to disrupt the Denver Broncos‘ communication and caused Peyton Manning to miss the snap that resulted in a safety. Don’t believe me? Ask Manning, center Manny Ramirez and coach John Fox.
NFL Films has the audio; look it up. “A little louder than we thought,” said Denver’s coach.
I’m just saying, I feel comfortable with the Seahawks’ chances to repeat and the 49ers are looking shaky. But look out for the Arizona Cardinals.