A week after dispatching their bitter divisional rivals, the 49ers welcome a historic rival to Santa Clara. Seattle has tormented the 49ers in division games. Dallas has tormented the 49ers in playoff games.
Recently, Seattle has taken over the ire of 49ers fans due to their divisional games, coaching beef, and barbs in post-game interviews. However, Saturday marked just the second playoff matchup between the two teams.
The year 2012 was when the Seattle/San Francisco rivalry heated up. The season series split, but a 42-13 drubbing on national TV was a low point of that year for the 49ers. The 49ers would make it to the Super Bowl, but it was clear Seattle was close.
The two teams split the season series again in 2013. Seattle won the big one to advance to the Super Bowl. That game would be the second of ten consecutive victories over the 49ers. Not to be forgotten is the image of Richard Sherman eating a turkey leg on Thanksgiving at the 50-yard line of Levi’s in 2014.
The Dallas/San Francisco rivalry dates back to 1970. The Cowboys eliminated the 49ers in back-to-back NFC championship games in 1970 and 71. In 1972, the Cowboys eliminated the 49ers in the divisional round.
The birth of the 49ers dynasty happened in the 1981 NFC championship game. Joe Montana lofted a pass to the back of the end zone, and Dwight Clark snatched it out of the air. “The catch” is one of the greatest moments in NFL history.
The rivalry picked up again in the ‘90s. The two teams would meet in the NFC championship game three consecutive times from ‘92 to ‘94. The 49ers finally broke through in ‘94 with the help of Deion Sanders and Ken Norton, Jr. The winner of all three matchups would go on to win the Super Bowl.
Terrell Owens running to the star is probably the biggest moment between the two teams following the NFC title game matchups.
The rivalry cooled off considerably due to the inability to have both teams qualify for the playoffs in the same year.
The other factor to consider when talking about Dallas is no matter what team you root for, odds are you dislike them.
Fast forward to last year’s Wild Card matchup in which the 49ers would come out on top due to a last-second time management gaffe, and the rivalry was sparked again.
So who do 49ers fans despise most? Fifty-two percent of fans voted for the Seahawks.
I think the answer lies in your age. The younger 49ers fans don’t remember the Dallas rivalry. Seattle is the team that has dealt the most pain to them. That’s completely fair.
In my opinion, my personal experiences watching Dallas eliminate my 49ers as a child makes any matchup with them personal. I certainly dislike Seattle and took great pleasure in watching Pete Carroll walk off the field eliminated.
Dallas/San Francisco is just different.
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