Are the 49ers and Packers rivals? Well, maybe west of the Rockies it is. Typically speaking, teams are not rivals with opponents they consistently beat, and the Packers have done just that to the 49ers — in the playoffs, at least.
In five postseason matches, the 49ers have won just one. And that one required a miracle throw by Steve Young and an equally miraculous catch by Terrell Owens. Otherwise, the 49ers haven’t been competitive. In those four loses, the 49ers failed to eclipse 18 points. In fact, they were outscored 56 to 110. Yikes.
While it might not be personal for Packers fans, it is for Packer Aaron Rodgers. I don’t need to recount Rodgers’ draft day snubbing by the 49ers. That narrative has been written. But it is significant that this will be Rodgers first time playing in the stadium he attended in his youth as a fan. Said Rodgers of the experience, “Being a 49er fan, that was a team I enjoyed watching and dreamt about playing for. Obviously I’m real happy with the situation I’m in, but it would be fun to go back to the Bay Area.”
Fun, indeed. Rodgers stands the chance to stick the ultimate dagger into a 49ers organization that has been, until last season, mired in quarterback play that can only be described as ugly with an “F”. A strong performance by Rodgers would be the equivalent of saying, “Hey
Scot McCLoughan Mike Nolan Mike McCarthy, how do you like me now?”
But rivalry or no, both the 49ers and Packers will be highly motivated on Saturday, and not just by the Lombardi Trophy. In fact, it is the chance to get revenge on the much-maligned Seattle Seahawks that might prove to be the more lucrative reward for victory.
To get the Packers take, we interviewed Monty McMahon, writer and editor of the highly irreverent, and often polarizing Green Bay Packers blog, TotalPackers.com. As usual, in the interest of keeping your friends close and enemy closer, be sure to follow McMahon on Twitter: @TotalPackers.
East Bay Sports Guy (EBSG): Does Green Bay still feel like there’s a strong rivalry with San Francisco, or has it been too long since the Packers and 49ers played important games against each other?
Monty McMahon (MM): I wouldn’t say there’s a strong rivalry. The 49ers haven’t really been on the Packers’ radar screen since Steve Young retired — or maybe Jeff Garcia moved on. There were some great games between those teams and the Packers of Brett Favre. During the ’90s it was the 49ers, Cowboys and Packers. The Packers had go through those teams to prove themselves and it was never easy, but as you well know, the 49ers kind of fell off the NFL map there for a while.
EBSG: Is this game more meaningful knowing that a victory would put the Packers in position to potentially exact revenge against the Seahawks in the NFC Championship?
MM: You know everyone in Green Bay wants to right that wrong. We know how it needs to play out. Seattle at Lambeau Field for the NFC Championship? A Packers win would be poetic justice. You can bet your ass the NFL sees the dollar signs in that matchup too. Frankly, I think we have a tougher matchup than the Seahawks do this week. Hopefully, we can make it happen.
Thanks again to Monty McMahon for participating.