Earlier this season, the Niners won a hard-fought 13-6 battle against the Seahawks. After that game, Seattle safety Earl Thomas says Jim Harbaugh gave the Seahawks’ bus a sarcastic salute as he drove away from the stadium. On Sunday, which also happened to be Harbaugh’s 49th birthday, Thomas slung some sarcasm back at the Niners coach.
“Happy Birthday — that’s what you get,” Thomas told Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports. “Yeah, he [honked at us]. It seems like he tries to be a professional in front of the camera, but he does his antics, like that, when the cameras aren’t around. He’s just a big kid. We don’t worry about that stuff. We just play the game. The best team won [Sunday], and it was convincing.”
There was the honking incident, and there is also the long history between Harbaugh and Pete Carroll that dates back to their days at Stanford and USC. Harbaugh’s Cardinals held a 27-point lead over Carroll’s Trojans late in a game back in 2009, and Harbaugh decided to go for two. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who had a similar “happy birthday” message for Harbaugh after the game, wanted Carroll to return the favor on Sunday when Seattle held a 42-6 lead.
“I’m not gonna lie to you,” Sherman said. ”I told Pete, ‘Let’s score and go for two.’ He said, ‘We have more class than that.’”
It’s easy to get the impression that these are two teams that don’t feel any fuzzy feelings toward one another, and there are many reasons why. Should they meet again in the playoffs next month, the rivalry would make for great entertainment.