For the last four or five years, the NFL has done what it can to push the 49ers-Cardinals as a big rivalry. They have scheduled them for season openers and prime time games quite frequently. The 2010 schedule has the 49ers facing the Cardinals on Monday Night Football in week 12, and then set up for the season finale week 17. Given the ability for flex-scheduling, if the NFC West race is coming down to the wire, there's an excellent chance this game ends up on Sunday Night Football.
While the 49ers did take both games last season against the Cardinals, it is still a fun rivalry for the fans and the players. I've been speaking with Andrew over at Revenge of the Birds, and we both think there's enough of a rivalry there that we can turn this into one heck of a discussion. So, next Monday, Revenge of the Birds and Niners Nation will be conducting an open discussion between members of both sites. I don't have a time set for it yet, but I can say that it will be taking place over at RotB. It should make for a fun discussion because things definitely can get heated between the two fan bases.
I bring all this up in part because some people may have missed an intriguing smack talk battle between our own Vernon Davis and Cardinals DE Darnell Dockett. If you missed it and don't follow Twitter feeds, it might be worth checking some of these out. Vernon Davis' feed is VernonDavis85 and Dockett's feed is ddockett. I know some folks find Twitter pointless, but it has become an excellent source for getting some quick reactions from athletes, particularly before they have a chance to think about what they're saying.
After the jump I've posted the discussion that started between Davis and Dockett, and basically became Dockett continuing to talk. He's always enjoyed talking a lot of smack about the 49ers and particularly 49ers fans. I added in some comments of my own, which you can check out at the Niners Nation Twitter feed. I don't expect any responses from them, but they definitely receive the messages so that's a start.
Even if Twitter eventually fizzles away, I actually think it's been a great way to get even more familiar with your favorite (and least favorite) athletes. One could even argue it's yet another step in the demise of traditional media. Athletes can express themselves directly through Twitter, rather than dealing with traditional interviews. One particularly intriguing example was two tweets by Toronto forward Chris Bosh (who will be a free agent this summer). Two weeks ago he tweeted, "Been wanting to ask. Where should I go next season and why?" He quickly had to send this followup tweet, "Ok...Let me rephrase the question. Should I stay or should I go."
Now, I'm not about to believe he'll run a poll and go with the most popular option. I'd imagine his agent won't have any of that. However, it does raise a whole host of interesting questions about the Twitter phenomenon with professional athletes. The Bosh story is only one of numerous examples of this.
I've put up a poll just to see the general usage of folks here on Twitter. Apparently people are incredibly aware of Twitter (as much as Facebook), but the usage rate is incredibly low, particularly given the awareness level.
Vernon Davis: I slept the whole way it's so beautiful this morning
Darnell Dockett: RT @VernonDavis85: I slept the whole way it's so beautiful this morning<- did u think about #24 and u know what #24 I'm talking about!!!
Vernon Davis: @ddockett last time I checked I was standing over top of #24 with a football stuck to my glove and believe we were in the endzone
Darnell Dockett: @VernonDavis85 u better pack a big ass lunch! U think adubb almost killed u last year, u aint seen shhh! U just wait ohhh u just wait buddy!
Darnell Dockett: RT @antoniosmith94: @ddockett hold on now I remember #24 Laid that SLAP STICK on #85 more than once and got fined for 1 of em!<- LOL me too
Vernon Davis: well bro? @ddockett RT @burningdownSM: @VernonDavis85 ask ddockett where he was when gore avg 115yds & had 3 TDs against the cards last year
Darnell Dockett: @burningdownSM ok ask @VernonDavis85 where he was at week 18?- Oh that's right he was home watching the cardinals in tha playoffs!
Darnell Dockett: RT @Ando83: @ddockett @VernonDavis85 Hey Dockett how many Lombardi trophies you got? <-- just as many as Vernon Davis got!!
Darnell Dockett: 49er fans keep talking bout the old championships they have lol I wasn't even in the NFL then. How pitaful stop talking bout the old baby!
Darnell Dockett: I love the 49er fans they so disrespectful .. I love it I love it. Yall keep that disrespect up and ill let yall get a birdgang tattoo deal?
Darnell Dockett: RT @Bobby_Mart24: @ddockett What if the #49ers offer you big $ when you become a FA?<- ill take less and go play with Pete carrol seattle!
After that last comment, I decided to throw my own hat in the ring and tweeted Dockett: Does @ddockett really think we believe he'd take less money to go play for @PeteCarroll up in Seattle? Money talks.
I realize it's not exactly some big comment, but I'd be amused by a response. There have been some other comments that developed over the evening, so feel free to check that out between all the various feeds.