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Key moments in the Seahawks-49ers rivalry

The animosity between the Seahawks and 49ers was born when their head coaches were Pac-10 adversaries. (AP)

By Danny O’Neil

A look at the timeline of events that has defined the Seahawks-49ers rivalry, which will take center stage during Sunday’s NFC Championship Game:

Nov. 19, 2009
Stanford 55, at USC 21

“What’s your deal, man?” That’s what Pete Carroll wanted to know after Stanford went for a two-point conversion midway through the fourth quarter, leading 48-21 over Carroll’s USC Trojans. “What’s your deal?” Jim Harbaugh responded. The Cardinal topped 50, ended USC’s 35-game home winning streak, and the next year Stanford offered a “What’s your deal deal” on tickets that included a seat to the game against USC.

Sept. 11, 2011
at San Francisco 33, Seattle 17

Harbaugh debuts as an NFL coach, his 49ers defeating the Seahawks after Ted Ginn returns first a kickoff and then a punt for a touchdown in the span of a minute in the fourth quarter. It’s the only time under Harbaugh that the 49ers have scored more than 20 points against Seattle.

Dec. 24, 2011
San Francisco 19, at Seattle 17

Marshawn Lynch becomes the first 49ers opponent in 36 games to surpass 100 yards rushing, but the Seahawks lose after quarterback Tarvaris Jackson fumbles with Seattle standing just a couple of first downs away from a game-winning field-goal attempt. As time wound down, 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman shouted, “Merry Christmas” as he walked from the suite for opposing coaches to the elevator to go down to the field.

Oct. 18, 2012
at San Francisco 13, Seattle 6

The Seahawks fail to score a touchdown in a game best remembered for dropped passes by running back Robert Turbin, receiver Golden Tate and tight end Evan Moore. Afterward, Harbaugh discussed the physical style of Seattle’s cornerbacks, saying he would ask the league for an interpretation of the rules.

49ers coach Jim Harbaugh drew the ire of Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman when he questioned the cornerbacks’ physical play following a 2012 win over the Seahawks. (AP)

“Is it within the rules?” Harbaugh said. “I think that’s the biggest question, is it within the rules what’s happening? We have to ask that question. We have to know what the interpretation is.”

Brandon Browner referred to the remarks as obnoxious, fellow Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said his former college coach was “outrageous and irrational”, thereby quoting words Harbaugh used in a press release in response to criticism of 49ers defensive lineman Justin Smith from Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride.

Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin, however, had the best response on Twitter: “Jim said Sherman and BB were playing too rough. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaaahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.”

Dec. 23, 2012
at Seattle 42, San Francisco 13

Seattle hands Harbaugh his most lopsided loss in the NFL, the Seahawks continuing a roll that had seen them score 50 points in each of the previous two games. That margin was significant, Sherman telling Michael Silver – then of Yahoo! Sports and now with the NFL Network – that he lobbied the coach to pour it on. “I told Pete, ‘Let’s score and go for two,’ ” Sherman said. “He said, ‘We have more class than that.’ “

June 11, 2013

Harbaugh is asked if has taken notice of Seattle’s infractions of the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, which included a four-game suspension of Browner in 2012 and a four-game ban for linebacker Bruce Irvin that was announced over the offseason.

“You want to be above reproach, especially when you’re good,” Harbaugh said, “because you don’t want people to come back and say, ‘They’re winning because they’re cheating.’ That’s always going to be a knee-jerk reaction in my experience, since I was a little kid. We want to be above reproach in everything and do everything by the rules. If you don’t, if you cheat to win then you’ve already lost, according to Bo Schembechler. And Bo Schembechler is about next to the Word of God.”