Seahawks fans may have nothing but contempt for their division rivals the San Francisco 49ers. But when it comes to who to cheer for in the Super Bowl, KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel explains why it’s good to root for the 49ers over the Baltimore Ravens.
Raises the stakes for next season
Art says it's better for Seattle if the 49ers win the Super Bowl.
"It's just going to enhance what's going to happen next year. The idea of San Francisco being the defending world champs that the Seahawks have to play twice is a great way to set up the Seahawks for next season. They have to match that talent level, match that effort in coaching of the 49ers in their own division."
If the 49ers win, the Seahawks and their fans know they handed San Francisco their last and worst loss of the 2012 season, beating them 42-13 on Dec. 23.
"That really does tell a tale. The Seahawks probably played their best game of the year. That just adds more spice to what I think is really the best and only rivalry in the pro sports scene that Seattle really has."
Makes division rivalry even stronger
Art says he sees the rivalry between the Seahawks and 49ers in the NFC West is just going to deepen.
"This is fun. To have a good rival and then have that rival be very, very successful sets a standard for which I think the Seahawks should aspire to. Then, if the Seahawks break through, you're going to really have something special going between San Francisco and Seattle and it should be a lot of fun for a lot of fans."
Wilson vs. Kaepernick
Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson stole some of the pre-Super Bowl spotlight with his brilliant performance in last Sunday's Pro Bowl, throwing three touchdowns.
Art says it kept the Seahawks and Wilson in the national spotlight long after they were eliminated from the playoffs.
"It again demonstrated to the world that this is a very special guy. The Seahawks really landed on something. They've resolved their quarterback situation - barring any health setbacks - for 10 years. It looks like San Francisco has done the same thing with Colin Kaepernick. So those two are setting up to be the quarterbacks for the next decade in this rivalry. So it just simply adds to the luster next year."
Art says another reason to cheer for the 49ers is to root against controversial Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.
"He's a shtick. He's an act. And I am worn out of it. He had that very serious legal trouble 13 years ago when he was charged in a double murder in Atlanta. He was not convicted - lack of evidence. He did get a misdemeanor obstruction of justice charge. And he did settle with the families of the victims for a large sum in a civil settlement. But it never has been clear exactly what happened that night. And Ray has gone on to be somewhat of a beloved celebrity because of the way he acts and shows his emotions. And the thing that wears me out is that he attributes every good outcome for the Ravens as an act of God. So, that's tiring. So, if he ends his career - as he said he's going to do - with a loss, that makes me happy."
You can find Art Thiel's work at Sportspress Northwest.