Sometimes I feel like they’re trying too hard with this whole 49ers-Seahawks rivalry thing. Some rivalries are grown organically and are just meant to be: the Red Sox and the Yankees; Ohio State and Michigan; the House of Lancaster and the House of York …
But 49ers-Seahawks just seems contrived. To have a real rivalry, the teams have to be rooted in bleak, depressing areas: like Manchester and Liverpool. Seattle and San Francisco are just too agreeable and picturesque, and their residents have too many other things to do. “Oh, it’s foggy today” and “Darn, it’s sprinkling” do not qualify as quality-of-life problems over which you take out your frustrations on competing sports fans.
But San Francisco and Seattle are giving it a go anyway. Earlier this season some Seahawks fans hired a plane to fly over Candlestick Park with a banner that read “The Sixth Man”. Now 49ers fans have retaliated. Note the billboard up top here, which was crowd-funded by Niners fans and placed near a highway a few miles south of Seattle. “Got Lombardis?” Because, you know, Seattle hasn’t ever won a Super Bowl. And neither has San Francisco over the past two decades.
The billboard is located in Fife, which is about 27 miles from downtown Seattle: so, like I said, not a real slap in the face here. I’ve never even heard of Fife, and I lived in Seattle for five years.
And to further my point, the billboard cost $7,000, and the Niners fans who put it up actually have raised more than $11,000. What are they doing with the difference? They’re donating it to the Seattle Children’s Hospital. Nice, but true, bitter rivals would not do that. If this were Duke and North Carolina, one school would order a thousand pizzas and have them delivered to the other school’s children’s hospital without paying.
Or in the case of Brazilian soccer, they’d just have a riot.