We're just a few days away from the NFC Championship game, pitting (arguably) two of the best teams in pro football today against each other, teams who happen to play in the same division and have already played each other twice this season. Two divisional foes squaring off for the right to participate in the Super Bowl....but don't tell the Niners that we have a rivalry with them. Heaven forbid!
Niner fans will (eagerly) tell you that all that matters is Lombardi trophies, and the more your franchise owns the better that franchise -- and, by extension, fans of said franchise -- is. It doesn't matter how long ago the championships were won, and even if the divisions have been almost-completely realigned since then, all that matters are rings.
So, by that logic, the NFC Championship game shouldn't matter in the slightest to Niner fans; if they win, they still have to move on to the next game, which fairly recent history has shown is no guarantee in producing another ring, and if they lose, then it's just another season, out of eighteen straight season, where the Niners ended up ringless. At the end of the day, all that matters is where you end up picking in the next draft, and the hope of winning yet another Super Bowl.
But maybe, juuuuuuuuuuuuust maybe, this game means more to the Niners than just another shot at a championship, and that going through Seattle to get that shot means a lot more than playing the Falcons or Panthers, because there is an actual rivalry growing here, one that transcends trophy cases and archaic successes. Maybe all that irrelevant crap from the past is thrown out the window, and what happens this Sunday is paramount. Maybe defeating your rival on the way to winning the championship will make that victory taste even sweeter, and maybe how you win that trophy is just as important as winning it.
Naaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh. It's all about tying up championship totals with the Steelers. Nothing else matters. Yup.