Leading Off

Leading off: NFC title game can’t be played soon enough

Sorry, folks, it’s only Tuesday morning.

Scrape off your burnt toast, eat your cereal and go about your day. Nothing to see here; not until Sunday afternoon.

And it can’t get here soon enough, can it?

49ers vs. Seahawks.

Kaepernick vs. Wilson.

Harbaugh vs. Carroll.

Gore vs. Lynch.

Forty-Niners Faithful vs. The 12th Man.

There are enough story lines in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game to stretch from Fisherman’s Wharf to Pike Place Market.

This is the championship matchup both teams, both fan bases and both regions wanted from the start of the NFL season.

And to say there is animosity between the teams and their fans is an understatement.

The 49ers and Seahawks have been eyeballing each other since August, like two neighborhood tough guys at opposite ends of the street, bumping into each other twice in 2013 and both coming away with one victory and one black eye.

As in most great rivalries, the 49ers and Seahawks share a bond. They need each other the way Arnold Palmer needed Jack Nicklaus, Larry Bird needed Magic Johnson and Rocky Balboa needed Apollo Creed – rivals who pushed each another from good to great to champions.

Perhaps the 49ers and Seawhawks dislike each other so much because they’re so similar. They run more and throw less than the rest of the NFL. Their defenses pack powerful punches and move with swagger. Both coaches, Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll, are loud and brash, and won’t back down from a fight.

Seahawks fans think their volume can affect the outcome of a game; 49ers fans think Seahawks fans should shut up until their team has won a Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl will be Feb. 2 in New Jersey. But any 49ers or Seahawks fan will tell you the real championship game will be played in Seattle.

49ers vs. Seahawks, Sunday, 3:30 p.m.

It can’t come soon enough.

What to watch

NBA, Kings at Indiana,

4 p.m., CSNCA, NBA: Can the Kings extend their winning streak to four in the first of six road games in nine days?

Today’s poll

Who will win Sunday’s NFC Championship Game?

• 49ers

• Seahawks

Vote above, or go to sacbee.com/sports

Weekend results

Should Kings center DeMarcus Cousins make the All-Star team?

• Yes: 80%

• No: 20%

Total votes: 329