GRANT COHN: Seahawks-49ers unmatched as rivalry

  • San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, left, shakes hands with Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll at the end of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The 49ers and the Seahawks have the best rivalry in sports right now, and it isn't even close.

Here are the top five reasons why:

1. They are two of the best teams in the NFL.

2. They are in the same division.

3. Their head coaches hate each other.

4. Their players hate the other team's coach.

5. Their players hate the other team's players.

That's a five-tool rivalry.

It's not yet an all-time-great rivalry like Lakers-Celtics, Yankees-Red Sox or Bears-Packers. Those rivalries have been great for generations. 49ers-Seahawks hasn't been the sport's top rivalry for more than seven months. It's only getting started.

49ers-Seahawks isn't even the quintessential rivalry in 49ers history. The Rams are the 49ers' natural rival. The Rams used to play in Los Angeles, and during the 1980s they had terrific teams featuring Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson. The Rams moved to St. Louis in 1995, and the two teams have maintained a respectable rivalry since then, respectable but not hot.

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