Paul Kitagaki Jr./Sacramento Bee / MCT

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) hits ball away from San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) and is intercepted by Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker Malcolm Smith (53) on last play during the NFC championship game at CenturyLink Field in Seattle on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014. The Seattle Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 23-17.

Poll

Which team is the 49ers' all-time greatest rival?

Leading Off: Will NFL season kickoff with 49ers-Seahawks?

Published: Tuesday, Apr. 22, 2014 - 11:34 pm

As soon as some blurry-eyed league officials are finished checking and rechecking every fact and fine-print detail, the NFL is expected to release the 2014 regular-season schedule today or Thursday – and don’t be surprised if it’s as late as Friday.

And the question on the minds of football fans from Fisherman’s Wharf to Pike Place Market finally will be answered: Whom will the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks host in the Thursday night season opener Sept. 4 at CenturyLink Field?

Denver Broncos fans are hoping their team gets the nod after an embarrassing Super Bowl performance against Seattle. The Arizona Cardinals, the last team to beat the Seahawks in Seattle, would love another chance on prime time, too.

But if the NFL gets it right, the most logical – and entertaining – kickoff game would be a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship between the 49ers and Seahawks. The Seahawks’ 23-17 victory in January was a tense battle that ended with Richard Sherman batting away Colin Kaepernick’s potential go-ahead touchdown pass in the closing seconds. And Sherman’s postgame rant hasn’t been forgotten, either.

The rivalry between the coaches, players and fans is among the most fervent in the NFL, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the teams meet again in January to determine the conference champion.

Nothing is at stake in Week 1 other than one team getting off to a better start, but for the fans, it would mean much more.

– Victor Contreras

vcontreras@sacbee.com


What to watch, do

Baseball, A’s vs. Rangers, 12:35 p.m., CSNCA, O.co Coliseum: The A’s are worth taking the day off – or a long lunch break.


Today’s poll

Which team is the 49ers’ all-time greatest rival?

• Cowboys

• Giants

• Packers

• Rams

• Seahawks

• Other

To vote, go to sacbee.com/sports


Tuesday’s results

Should the Kings honor Rick Adelman with a raised banner ?

• Yes, best coach in Kings history: 88%

• No, never won NBA title: 12%.

Total votes: 354

Read more articles by Victor Contreras



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