Michael Bennett and Colin Kaepernick after the NFC Championship game. Photo by Steven Bisig of USA Today Sports.

Michael Bennett and Colin Kaepernick after the NFC Championship game. Photo by Steven Bisig of USA Today Sports.

Are some 49ers fans blinded by their hatred for the Seahawks?

Feb 5, 2014 at 1:05 PM69

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Yes. Hold on a second. Before you leave, let me explain. In light of the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl XLVIII victory, a 15 minute YouTube video has been circulating and gaining traction around the web. The video investigates the calls by the officials in the NFC Championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks and has been a hit among conspiracy theorists. Were there bad calls in the game? Absolutely. That's often the case in any NFL game and the video does correctly point out some of these instances. Was it a huge conspiracy? You have got to be joking.

Regardless of the absurdity of the video, CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco examined the video and wrote up this excellent break-down of it. Maiocco is not only one of the most well respected beat writers in the Bay Area, but he is probably one of the best in the nation. He is not a 49ers fan, which he feels is essential to his duty to deliver unbiased opinions about the team. So reading his break-down of the video is about as level-headed a view as you are going to get.

While he agreed that some of the calls were bad, in the end, he had this to say:

"Ultimately, the video in question had too many baseless claims, inaccuracies and hyperbole to be taken too seriously. But if the intent was to get people talking again about the game that Sherman said featured the two best teams in the NFL, it was successful."

Before I go on, let me state that I am a 49ers fan. A proud member of the Niner Faithful. So I am somewhat biased and that probably will not change anytime soon. I grew up learning to hate teams like the Cowboys, Rams, and Packers. Today, I must admit that those teams might as well be on the same level as my allies when you compare them to how much I despise the Seahawks. I'll look for any new reason to dislike the Seahawks and latch onto that reason for dear life. What I will not do is convince myself that some greater power, like the league or the officiating crew, is looking to rig NFL games. There are already enough valid reason to dislike the Seahawks.

One thing that I will never understand is why USC fans continue to support their former head coach and current Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll. I get that he brought multiple championships to the Trojans. However, what he also did was set the program back for years with his involvement in what was deemed a "lack of institutional control" that resulted in NCAA sanctions. Those sanctions included a two-year bowl ban, four years of probation, loss of scholarships and a forfeit of an entire year's games. How would Carroll be impacted by the sanctions? He wouldn't be. In previous years, Carroll had turned down multiple attempts by NFL teams to recruit him, but once the writing was on the wall that punishments may be looming for his program, he happily left the college ranks for the NFL. He essentially robbed a bank, left the country, and left his partners holding the evidence.

Then there is the "What's your deal" game between Carroll's USC Trojans and Jim Harbaugh's Stanford Cardinal. Carroll approached Harbaugh following Stanford's 55-21 victory — a victory where Harbaugh had blatantly ran up the score — and infamously asked the coach at midfield, "What's your deal?" The irony was that Carroll had been doing this to lesser teams during his whole career at USC. In fact, even late in Super Bowl XLVIII, with the game well in hand and the Denver Broncos very much defeated, the Seahawks were passing the ball like it was the first quarter.

Then you have Richard Sherman, the talented 3rd year cornerback for the Seahawks. His mouth tends to destroy his image, and since he is one of the more arrogant and vocal players on the team, it reflects badly on the Seahawks as a whole. His recent antics following the NFC Championship have already been discussed to death, so let's not beat the dead horse. How about Sherman mouthing off to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who is one of the best of all time, following a Seahawks win in 2012? Was that really necessary? Say something had provoked that. There are many equally as talented role models in the NFL that would have just let it be or addressed the situation in a classier manner.

And then there was his March 2013 interview where he unexpectedly attacks ESPN personality Skip Bayless, saying that he is "better at life" than him. Even if you dislike Bayless, which many do, the conversation is very uncomfortable and is yet another example of using the spotlight to showcase yourself in the worst possible way. There were classier ways to express to your dislike for the member of the media, like actually answering one of the questions being asked of you. While Sherman's opinion may have been valid, his tact is lacking and his actions are an embarrassment. And I don't even like Skip Bayless.

I won't even touch the Seahawks fans, who threw food at injured 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman as he was carted off the field late in the NFC Championship game, because there are always bad seeds in any fanbase. Even Richard Sherman took offense at that. And I definitely will not touch the excessive PED use among Seahawks players that 49ers fans continuously love to poke fun at.

Instead, I will go back to Maiocco's article. I thought that it would eliminate some of the conspiracy theorists, but it just seems to have further riled some of the more vocal, with one fan calling Maiocco an undercover Seahawks fan — in not so many nice words. I cannot even begin to describe the ridiculousness of such a statement. It does show how some fans refuse to listen to reason and instead choose to latch on to anything that looks bad on a hated divisional rival, no matter how absurd it may seem. And perhaps, to some extent, that is what I do in my hatred for the Seahawks. However, I refuse to take anything away from their accomplishments because of a conspiracy theory, because in the end, that would just be an excuse.

If the NFL were fixed, as the video in question tries to portray, then it would have been NFL golden boy Peyton Manning hoisting his second Lombardi trophy, and not the Seattle Seahawks. Or, at the very least, the game would have been much more competitive for ratings reasons.

With all of that being said, if you are ready to subscribe to a conspiracy theory because it is being passed around the social media world, please read Matt Maiocco's break-down first. Once again, the 49ers missed their chance and it is time to look toward the 2014 season for some redemption and not to dwell on what could have been.

If you are going to dislike the Seahawks, do it for the more rational reasons. There may be some easily dislikable aspects to the squad, but they are a fantastic NFL team and a hurdle that the 49ers must overcome in order to return to the biggest stage in sports.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you believe the conspiracy or just feel that this, like any NFL game, had flaws in the officiating? What are your reasons for disliking the Seahawks? Leave a comment below.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


  • Bingo Bob
    9ers have been good the last three years and they have choked three times. The chance to win was there 3 times & it got away. Everyone gets bad calls, so what, it happens in every game. Three times at the top. The cap rules is about to hit the 9ers to keep the current roster.Staying on top may have passed if history with cap roster money is any indication of our future. You get to keep the best players for about four years then the cap takes over and you begin to lose good players to free agency as is happening now. The 2011 team was the best of the three teams and that team is gone, by personnel changes and injuries. Free angency is beginning to fill the position of lost players and not the draft. Our drafts haven' been as good we hoped. A lot will happen in 2015 with large pay days coming due. Teams are waiting to raid our roster in free agency and players who are being paid at the rookie pay scale are waiting to get paid and there will be no hesistation to leave for more money. Unless the draft produces starting players our standng could change.
    Apr 3, 2014 at 7:06 AM
  • Moe Hufsey
    I would just like to say that I am and have been a Seahawks fan since 1976. I reside in New Jersey across the river from Philadelphia. I have been to Eagle games and Seahawks games. I will testify that the behavior shown at Eagles games is almost criminal and scary to be around. I will say that at Seahawks games my wife and I have been treated extremely well and the crowd, while loud, has been well behaved. I am sorry I did not know that while Navarro Bowman was being carted off the field, that fans were throwing things at him. I for one think Bowman is one of the best, and never should have been disrespected like that. There is a ton of fan sites promoting the "feud" between Seahawks and 49ers. I enjoy it for what it is, amusement, nothing more. I know that both organizations are the cream of the crop in the NFL. In closing I would like to wish Navarro Bowman a speedy and healthy recovery and hope that he can regain the ability he had in the past. Just my spin on this issue.
    Apr 2, 2014 at 6:31 AM
  • Rick Reulecke
    I've often said that the Refs are just as much a part of the game as the Quarterback is, and they are. But the blown calls were SO blatant, that for an NFL official it was just STUPID and it DID in fact determine the outcome. I'm not trying to substantiate the conspiracy, but there WERE calls that effected the outcome of the game. As much as I HATE the Seahawks, it was a SHOCK to see a beat writer attempt to come to any other conclusion other than what 99.9% of Niner Nation saw. I still will not admit that the Seahawks are the better team! Glad I could provide you with a chuckle though! :-) Niner fan for life~
    Feb 15, 2014 at 12:17 AM
  • DaNiners
    Remember this Niner Nation, we basically have the following key FA to sign over the next two years: Dawson, Boldin, Whitner (?), Smith, Iupati (?), Crabtree, Kaepernick. Not even sure I would sign Whitner or Iupati to long-term contracts. Now, look at the holy *&%$ number of key contributors the Seahawks have to sign. Add only 6 picks in this years draft and the Seahawks have cause for concern going forward. They have done a great job acquiring talent, but a horrendous job keeping it ahead of big pay days. The Niners have been excellent in this area.The Harvin trade will look much worse after they extend Wilson and Harvin gets hurt every year (see history).
    Feb 9, 2014 at 7:20 AM
  • JD
    >Comment: Why did this video gain any more traction >than the one the same guy made last year after the >Superbowl loss? Because this game was SO much worse, and the steerage was so obvious. I didn't feel the SB was being steered, but this game was. I've said it before but you have to re-watch the no-call on roughing the punter. Seahawk barrels into Andy Lees plant leg. No other moving parts, and the rules are 100% clear and incontravertable - that's a roughing call - 15 yards and a niner 1st down. Plenty of time to make the right call and you are telling me that entire "all pro" set of officials couldn't get that call right? They got greedy with that blown call and tried to steer too hard, but it doesn't matter because won't be able see what is right in front of their eyes anyway - it takes too much of a re-adjustment of their faith in Americas Sport. Sorry, time for a wake up - some of these games, if not fixed, are certainly steered. Wake UP.
    Feb 8, 2014 at 11:08 PM
  • jbeale49
    Why did this video gain any more traction than the one the same guy made last year after the Superbowl loss?
    Feb 8, 2014 at 11:25 AM
  • Rick Reulecke
    You really called this absurd? Were you NOT watching the game? Did you NOT see everything that was detailed in this video? You didn't have the feeling that the refs were determining the outcome? I like your material, but I stopped reading when you called this video absurd. I will not admit that seattle is the better team, because the better team lost, the better team played two opponents, the better team was cheated. I will never read your columns again. You are blind and stupid to think this video is absurd. I really think your a closet Seahawks fan
    Feb 7, 2014 at 8:58 PM
    Response: I seriously laughed at this.
  • Doug
    As a life long Niner fan (40 years) here is my take. As of right now 49er fans should just acknowledge that the Seahawks are the best team in the league. They just proved that by winning the Super Bowl. All of these "49er" fans that keep talking all of this crap need to pipe down. We haven't won a Super Bowl for 20 years! 20! I say Congratulations to the Seahawks. We will get our shot again and will be playing the hawks at least twice next season. No quit! See you guys next opening day! Go Niners!
    Feb 7, 2014 at 5:39 PM
  • Willabeast
    13 man brings rings to Seahawks we all know it!!! New season started 2 weeks ago here we go ninner nation!
    Feb 7, 2014 at 11:31 AM
  • Tom Thumb
    The fan who made this video is a Carolina Panther fan who got fed up with the obvious favoritism...
    Feb 7, 2014 at 5:41 AM
  • Big Al
    Of course Maiocco disputed the video. If the NFL is exposed there goes his cushy job. Watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utO9jtDpsmQ At that time, 26 of the 32 owners had gambling ties, and this investigator PROVES that over 70 games were rigged and names names and games...Read "INTERFERENCE" before you jump to conclusions without all of the evidence...
    Feb 7, 2014 at 5:37 AM
  • Edd
    Sorry, I dont buy any of this. Seattle is a great rival, and a team's greatness is defined by it's rivals. Their superbowl performance was phenomenal. Yes, I believe the 49ers would have beat Denver, but not like that. I think the NFC West has become hands-down the best division in the NFL, and that's good. I hate the Seahawks because they are rivals, and because of the envy that they went to the show instead of my 49ers. Let's do better next year!
    Feb 6, 2014 at 7:51 PM
  • Footballfan
    If I went thru all the person did to make this video, I'd feel like an idiot. And if I was a miner fan, I'd be disgraced by all the whining about losing. Need some cheese with that "wine" hahahaha? It is what it is. I ain't a fan of either so I don't care. The better team won. Accept it. Life goes on and football will be here forever.
    Feb 6, 2014 at 5:40 PM
  • Ninersinceminor
    I dislike Pete Carroll for some of the same obvious reason. I am a diehard USC Trojans Fan but not on the same level as my love and devotion for my San Francisco 49ers. I have been a 49ers Faithful since 1978. What Pete Carroll did and or allowed to happen at USC was very devastating to me as a fan and basically destroyed a storied University's past, present and future accomplishments. Pete Carroll to me was and is a complete coward when it comes down to it. If Carroll was any kind of man who cared about the kids at USC, he would have owned up to the mistakes he made (lack of institutional control) and saw the program through these sanctions! The fact that he tucked tail and ran like a coward bothers the heck out of me! The fact that he is now enjoying success in the NFL bothers me even more! Never mind the fact that he's coaching my now so called rival, but that his team and their fans have taken on his personality. Carroll is loud, arrogant, disrespectful, cheating coward! And no the Seahawks fan base, that you barely heard a peep from pre-2010, acts like they're the very best and most dominate franchise in the history of the NFL! You have 1 now. So do the Bucs! Not a conspiracy!
    Feb 6, 2014 at 5:04 PM
  • sacninerfan
    My dislike for Seattle is more aimed at the fans who think the team is a world beater, or have done great things in the NFL(afc or nfc). They did a great job in winning the title(we got 5) Let them go on a run like the Niners did the last three years or the glory years in the 80's and early 90's, they want to be the Niners and it seems with enough PED's they may get there, but i dont consider them a rival....yet. Was that just one long sentence there?
    Feb 6, 2014 at 4:21 PM
  • Tchip
    Seahawks fan here saying don't talk to us about bad calls! Super Bowl 40 v Pitt comes to mind! We hate 49rs fans as much as you hate us, but it is a great rivalry! One NFC finals note: on the pass to Crabtree he clearly pushed off Sherman. Should have been offensive PI! :) SB48 baby !
    Feb 6, 2014 at 1:50 PM
  • JD
    What's really sad is you KNOW the sportswriters would be the last to go out on a limb and talk about possible fixes or "steering" by the NFL Refs - and Matt Maiocco is probably the most nutless, milquetoast reporter of the lot. Nonetheless, you cannot look at the aggregate of the bad calls in that game - especially the no-call on roughing the punter, which was a simple call that was not open to interpretation and had almost no moving parts -- and not come away very suspicious. It pisses me off when Ray Ratto says stuff like "only lunatics think the NFL would fix games" -- Wrong Ray, only people like you who are so embedded in the system and in denial could not acknowledge that there is at least something that looks funny. But these reporters won't do it - they have too much invested in the status quo. It's up to us, the fans, and it's hard to be non-biased because we already have a slant. Still, this stuff is crying out to be brought up - there were a few calls in that game that just shout game-steerage by the refs. I think the video was too biased and one sided, but I am still glad it was made and is starting a little dialog - we just cannot count on the media to help at all
    Feb 6, 2014 at 12:15 PM
  • Jesse
    All I know if the Seahawks happen to just choke next year then all I can say it was a given game by the officials. And I'm not even a miners or Seahawks fan
    Feb 6, 2014 at 11:04 AM
  • Jersey9er
    Wow 49erfaithful, don't rip the man a new one. My take on the game is this. We had opportunities to capitalize and we didn't, it's as simple as that. Throughout the entire year almost every team has had something to say about the officiating. So if that's the case, then I see no reason to entertain the conspiracy theory. Games should not come down to the officials first off. I mean I used to laugh when i hear had that call been right. Well actually if "the team" that complains, played better, than it would matter about the officiating. I actually have more of a problem with our star QB saying before the ball was snapped he knew he was gonna go to the same WR, and almost the same route that was overshot in the last SB. When i watched the game again, im like damn it was almost like the same play. Didn't he know better?????? So I just say it hurt we lost when we did and it still stings. Lets just take time to get over it, not analyze every moment over and over because as i said in the beginning... no conspiracy if almost every team at some point in the year questioned officiating.
    Feb 6, 2014 at 10:41 AM
  • DaNiners
    Couple things about this "new" rivalry. First, let's see the Seahawks finish ahead of us more than one year before panicking. I recently went back and watched the 49ers/Seahawks game and noticed a few things. First, the Seahawks seemed intimidated the entire first half. Second, we absolutely dominated for 3Q. Outside of the Lynch run to start the second half, they did nothing. I would also add that I took a unbiased approach to the officiating on second go 'round and the Seahawks had one bad call versus 5 against us...game changing calls. Regardless, we lost to a very good team (notice I did not say better). Interestingly, in each of the last 3 years, I am not sure we lost to better teams, we lost to teams who played better in the 4Q (Kaep, coaching, and special teams seem to fail us in 4th). To me, they are all mental breakdowns, starting with our coaches horrid use of TO's (embarrassing). The point of all this, I will put the Seahawks in the same category as GB, Cowboys, Giants, etc. when they win more than one championship, when they actually show they are consistently a better team. Truthfully, we play them better now, than we did a year ago, so explain that.
    Feb 6, 2014 at 9:20 AM
  • Gonzola
    It is a fact and I have said it repeatedly on the forums and boards. The NFL does indeed fix games. This is not because I am a Niners fan. It is a fact and many other (non-49er) games are clearly pre-determined by the league. Welcome to the "new" NFL - full of expansion teams, lame rule changes, and a ridiculous commissioner. Not to mention the fact that the NFL is still a not-for-profit company... go figure?! The 99% will always be toys for the 1% and the fact that the NFL is on display for all to see and so many are too close-minded to even consider that a game here or there is rigged just proves that the 1% have "US" by the balls. It is like saying the IRS, organized crime, and the US government all have our best interests in mind. And lastly, did you hear that with all the rule changes the NFL has been renamed and is being rebranded to the NPL - National P&*^y League... Yep, the pussification of a nation.
    Feb 6, 2014 at 8:16 AM
  • Dan Delaney
    I think you are spot on. I'm a Saints fan and I hate the Seahawks so much I was cheering for the Niners in the NFC Championship game.
    Feb 6, 2014 at 4:24 AM
  • Jamice Welbon
    Isn't the main stream media's job to suppress the truth from us?
    Feb 6, 2014 at 4:13 AM
  • Great Ed
    Me again! It didn't just start in the Championship Game! I said WEEKS AGO that Harbaugh should go 2 York & say "hey, I gotta take a fine for the team. I gotta let the LEAGUE know I'm tired of my team GETTING ROBBED by POOR OFFICIATING! (You can go back to the Giants Champ. game or last yrs S.B.) but I'll start with the New Orleans game! THATS THE CALL THAT COSTS THE 49ERS THE #1 SEED! & guess what Brooks was never fined! why because it was a LEGAL hit! Let's not 4-get the wild-card gm in G.B. Remember on THE GREAT 4thDown play by A.Rodgers in which 91-McDonald has a sack but GETS CHOKED! How do the Refs not see that! . . All the TERRIBLE CALLS against the 49ers this yr with Mostly NO FINES! It's SAD to see the 49ers put in all the RIGOROUS, HARD WORK & have it taken from them TIME & TIME AGAIN! It's not fair to them or us as 49er-Fans!!!
    Feb 6, 2014 at 3:56 AM
  • gdrubble
    Well, if we take it back to the Saints game, with 3 minutes left, Brook's sack and fumble and the recovery that turned into a 15 yd penalty, giving the Saints a fresh set of downs and the game! We win that game and we win the West and host the NFC Championship game! The only thing we can do now is to allow instant replay to review personal fouls, period!!! How many personal fouls did we get for some ridiculous reason throughout the season? Enough is enough!
    Feb 6, 2014 at 3:33 AM
  • longtime49erfan
    Whether everything in the video actually means what it suggests is not important. It is naive to think that officials who are only part time workers might not be tempted by offers of substantial amounts of money to skew their calls. The NFL owners are making billions of dollars annually; the betting houses (both legal and illegal) are turning over billions of dollars annually on the NFL. There is certainly enough money involved to lend credence to the possibility that bribery and graft are happening; to think otherwise is IMO foolish and naive.
    Feb 6, 2014 at 1:46 AM
  • maxwell
    All of the pro leagues favor certain teams and try to get their favored teams to win. They make more money when certain teams win, so they make it a little easier on those teams and a little harder on the other teams. Refs made bad calls, but 49ers also screwed up.
    Feb 6, 2014 at 12:11 AM
  • T
    I think the officiating has gotten to the point where it is so consistently bad, that we as fans have accepted it as just another part of the game. Well that's bs, it shouldn't be a part of the game and if we don't step up and say something, it will not change. Get the all of the calls correct, period or go full instant replay. We should accept nothing less.
    Feb 6, 2014 at 12:01 AM
  • jamesbond
    I think you are missing one of the key points of making such a video. It is common knowledge that Seattle and SF are extremely close in talent, coaching, and execution. That means that any calls that go in either direction can have a major impact on the game. In the NFC title game, at least 4-5 poor calls went against the Niners and changed the momentum of the game. None such calls went against the Seahawks. Therefore, because of the poor officiating and in particular, the imbalance of it, we as fans do not get a fair assessment of who actually was the better team that day. Do you honestly think that if the same 4-5 bad calls went against Seattle, that they still win that game. Get real!
    Feb 5, 2014 at 11:55 PM
    Response: The fact that there were some bad calls was never in question. But the idea that there is a huge conspiracy with rigged games and has been for years, is.
  • Cecily
    I can explain away most of the calls, but the, should have been roughing the kicker and the time clock MAKE NO SENSE. Everyone who has asked for an explanation on the time clock, has gotten no where. NFl has not given any reason for it from all the stories I have searched.
    Feb 5, 2014 at 11:25 PM

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