This article is sponsored by Fan Kave…
No doubt most of you will be coming together this Sunday in your living rooms to see if the Seahawks can punch their ticket to the team’s second Super Bowl appearance in history. Do you have everything you need for the biggest game of the year so far? Beer? Check! Pizza? Check! An ungodly amount of chips and pretzels? You bet!
Now what about a really cool way to cheer on the Seahawks and even talk a little smack to your friends who can’t make it to your pad this weekend? FanKave can help with that. The new iPad app is essentially an online hangout for Seahawks fans to come together and get fanatical either through text or crystal-clear audio while the showdown versus the 49ers takes place.
(There’s even a mute button in case that old college buddy you invited into your group, who now lives in the Bay Area, starts to get on your nerves with his incessant Kaepernicking jokes.)
There’s live play-by-play updates of the game, which is pretty cool if for some reason you can’t watch on TV but still want to follow the action. Another feature you might like is that you can update individuals plays from the play-by-play feed directly to your Facebook and Twitter account – perfect for bragging when Marshawn Lynch scores on the Niners defense.
Also, over on the right-hand side is a custom Twitter feed with constant updates about the game from the big-time NFL writers from around the country.
You can download FanKave directly to your iPad by clicking here. They’ll also have NBA and college hoops in a few weeks, and the app will be available on iPhone and Android soon, so go check it out.
Embrace this rivalry, it’s not a bad thing
This is one game both teams really want to win.
I get it.
But let’s take a moment to consider the bigger picture here.
ESPN’s Mike Sando wrote a Tweet today that perfectly sums up how a lot of fans feel:
I think the 49ers-Seahawks loser is going to feel worse than the winner feels good. Having to watch the other team strut during SB week.
— Mike Sando, ESPN.com (@SandoESPN) January 16, 2014
Mike’s absolutely correct. The fear of losing consumes a lot of people right now. Both in Seattle and San Francisco.
I bet there’s been quite a few sleepless nights this week on the west coast.
The loser not only gets to sit and watch their biggest rival in the Super Bowl. They have to hear about it constantly for two weeks.
They have to watch the excitement, preparation and anticipation of the game — all the while knowing there’s a good seven months before they can do anything about it.
And god forbid Sunday’s winner actually wins the Super Bowl. That would be unbearable.
Avoiding defeat on Sunday is probably more important to a lot of fans than actually winning the game.
Should that be the case?
In fact it’s time to look at this game with a completely different perspective.
Seahawks and 49ers fans should be grateful they’re part of the best current rivalry in the NFL.
A rivalry which isn’t going anywhere.
Next year, we could easily see a rematch for the NFC Championship. Or at least another post-season get together.
Seattle and San Francisco are the two best teams in the NFC. They have young rosters filled with talent. They have fantastic coaches, backed up by skilled executives in the front office.
Only three years ago the NFC West was won by a 7-9 team limping into the post season.
Now the division is loaded. And two fan bases that have pined for success for decades finally get the spotlight.
San Francisco had to wait eight years for a winning season prior to Jim Harbaugh’s arrival. Seattle suffered two miserable campaigns as the Mike Holmgren era ended and the Jim Mora era never got off the ground.
It’s twenty years since the 49ers won a Championship. The Seahawks are still waiting for their first elusive title.
And in 2014 one of these teams that so craves success is guaranteed to be back in the Super Bowl.
But this isn’t a one-and-done, win-it-or-bust situation.
Next season they’ll slug it out all over again.
Losing shouldn’t be dreaded. It should be embraced as a distinct possibility. There’s a 50% chance of it happening.
Sure it’s a long wait until next season, but so what? You go again. This isn’t a short window for either team.
The fact both teams are so competitive will drive the other on. There’s no doubt that helped Pittsburgh and Baltimore win titles. When your closest enemy is so good, you seem to work that little bit harder.
In that sense Seattle and San Francisco are good for each other.
It gets nasty at times. The way the fans talk on Twitter and online — you can feel the hatred.
“It gets taken out of proportion by the fans. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great rivalry, but the reason it’s a great rivalry is because it’s two good football teams that are playing against each other. I see all the time on social media… the fans going at each other when the players don’t even go at each other like that.”
I suspect over time we’ll begin to see a mutual respect develop between the fans. The rivalry will be no less intense, but they’ll realise neither team is going to back down — there’s always going to be another game.
In a few years time when these teams have met on several occasions in the playoffs, people will begin to appreciate that there’s nothing negative about this rivalry.
The road to finding that mutual respect begins this weekend, because someone’s got to lose. And people will have to deal with it.
If it’s not your turn this time, c’est la via.
The next chapter of Seattle vs San Francisco is already being written.
Expect it to be published in September.