Pete Carroll, Jim Harbaugh

Fans often want blood and hate spewing between two rivals. Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks didn’t deliver when speaking about Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers, maybe knowing that they no longer pose a threat.

It seems a pin was stuck in the hot air balloon known as Harbaugh and the 49ers the moment they got crushed by the Seahawks 19-3 in Santa Clara. Before that loss, the dynamic of the rivalry usually meant the home team won, even when the 49ers turned out to be the inferior team. The Seahawks manhandling them so badly, followed by the 49ers losing to the Oakland Raiders of all teams, probably made Carroll feel sorry for a head coach he clearly despises, and gets the same kind of treatment in return.

I’ve never seen him not be a really good coach. He’s a fantastic football coach. I’ve watched him do all the stuff he did at Stanford and turned that program around. What he’s done at the Niners, I know that he’s a great football coach. Not everybody likes everybody or gets along with everybody but sometimes you don’t see the magic that guys have. I think he’s a fantastic football coach; he’s proven that. There’s no question about that.

The back and forth between Carroll and Harbaugh goes back to college. When Harbaugh arrived at the scene it was after Carroll has already brought back USC to national prominence, including a national title or two, depending on how you refer to sanctions, bans and other NCAA punishments.

Harbaugh turned things around for Stanford, including beating Carroll in two out of three games. In the NFL, the two have split the eight head-to-head games, but the most important one, the NFC championship game last season, was won by the Seahawks and Carroll.

He’s a stud; he ain’t going to waver. He’s going to keep battling and do what he does. He’s a great competitor. Always has been. That’s why they’re so dangerous coming in — his leadership, his toughness about the way he runs his program. I have tremendous respect for him. All the other stuff you guys have always thought was going on between us, there ain’t much to it. his is two football guys going at it, two guys that love to compete and battle and there’s nobody I’d rather play. I love playing against him and that’s the way it’s been since the beginning.

The most humiliating thing is to know someone is feeling sorry for you. The Seahawks are no longer thinking of the 49ers as a threat. That’s why Carroll is no nice and uplifting all of a sudden. He knows he has nothing to worry about.

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