A long time before the Niners

Posted by Darren Urban on May 11, 2010 – 2:40 pm

When the schedule came out in April, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt made a joke about not opening up with the 49ers — a joke everyone around the Cards could have made. It had become a death-and-taxes sort of thing, with the Cards and 49ers beginning every season against each other (at least since 2006, when the Niners visited in the regular-season debut of University of Phoenix Stadium).

The history between the teams since they became NFC West brethren has been interesting, to say the least, building on a rivalry. There was the Pearl Harbor Day disaster for the Cards in 2003, when a 50-14 loss in San Francisco was crystallized on Josh McCown’s backwards pass to tackle L.J. Shelton in his own end zone. There was the Niners’ “Cardinals-and-14” record in 2004, when their only two wins were identical, backbreaking 31-28 overtime victories against Arizona. There was the 31-14 Cards’ demolition (after a 14-0 deficit) of the Niners in Mexico City in 2005 in front of a then-record 103,467 fans. There was the Cards’ sweep of San Fran in an otherwise forgettable 2006 season that ended Denny Green’s tenure. There have been “Monday Night Football” clashes each of the last three seasons and the crushing 37-31 OT home loss for the Cards in 2007.

Now that both teams have been revived to the level of division title contenders — and given the dichotomy of the Cards’ 10-6 division-winning record if a year ago compared to the Niners’ sweep of Arizona despite a .500 record — this season’s matchups may be the most anticipated since the two moved in together in the NFC West.

Unfortunately, we don’t get to see anything until after Thanksgiving. That’s what I thought as Darnell Dockett and Vernon Davis traded Twitter jabs (and Mike Sando stirred it up) about Vernon and Adrian Wilson (who usually steers clear of such things). Not only are the Cards not opening with the Niners, the Cards will be 10 games into the season before San Fran visits Glendale for a fourth straight year of “Monday Night Football.” The two teams close out the season against each other Jan. 2 in the Bay Area.

It’s a long time to wait. And a long time for ill will to build.

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24 Responses to “A long time before the Niners”

  1. By brette#!1 cards fan on May 11, 2010 | Reply

    wow sweet u guys rock

  2. By kingdiamond on May 11, 2010 | Reply

    Those two games could be for the division title and a playoff spot!

  3. By Blake on May 11, 2010 | Reply

    We Gonna Destroy The 49ers this year and win the west again

  4. By fitzis11red on May 11, 2010 | Reply

    The company I work or just hired a guy who decided to where his Niner jersey to work on his second day. Now there are two of them. GOAWAY!! lol. Go CARDS!!!

  5. By fitzis11red on May 11, 2010 | Reply

    My spelling is bad I know. I typed fast. Forgive me.

  6. By Jesse Robles on May 11, 2010 | Reply

    Can we at least split the series this year??

  7. By Boondock on May 11, 2010 | Reply

    God I hate the 49ers.

  8. By Rich on May 11, 2010 | Reply

    I live in Scottsdale and work in San Francisco. Am in the Bay Area as we speak. Alot of “smack talk” up here on the airwaves and among the fans. Not much respect for the Cardinals. I have Cards season tix……….and am really hoping we keep the division crown…..will have some bragging rights here at work.

  9. By darrenurban on May 11, 2010 | Reply

    Rich —

    That’s some serious commuting.

  10. By TucsonTim on May 11, 2010 | Reply

    The 49’s beat us by beating us up on both sides of the ball. It was embarrassing and a model for other teams who could out “physical’ the Cards. I loved it when one of Porters first quotes was:

    “None of the bullying stuff is going to happen to us,” Porter said. “If any of the bullying stuff happens, it’s going to be us on defense.”

    The 49’s sucked last year. They were 8-8 because they knew if they got physical they could whoop our butts, otherwise they’re 6-10.

    Won’t happen this year and hopefully we’ll get a bye and some home field advantage. Time to stop worrying about the 49’s and start thinking bigger.

  11. By Brian R. on May 11, 2010 | Reply

    I hope we kick the 49ers ass. I really do hate that team. My uncles been trash talking the Cardinals ever sense ive been a fan (Hes a 49er fan).

    Darren, do you think within the next 3 years the NFC West will be the strongest in the NFC? Just curious because I think so.

  12. By darrenurban on May 11, 2010 | Reply

    Brian R —

    I think three years in the NFL is an eternity. Way too early too know. So much can happen, good or bad.

  13. By Scott H on May 11, 2010 | Reply

    Blake –

    I’d love to be that optimistic but look at the history. It should tell you that – and it happens all the time in the NFL between different teams – even though the Cardinals have absolutely been the better team the past few years, it hasn’t mattered because the 49ers just seem to have this team’s number. Do you need to look any further than last season for proof??? Last year, the 49ers were a pest that just wouldn’t go away. But, ultimately, they just weren’t good enough to get it done. This year? I wouldn’t count on the same. I really think they might be good enough to hang with the Cardinals all the way to the end. AND the Cardinals are going to need to take care of business by beating the 49ers at least once. They lose both games AGAIN this year…they might just end up on the outside looking in. Hey, who knows…maybe Leinart will change this teams fortunes against the 49ers. As great as Warner was, the 49ers had a pretty good handle on him.

  14. By AndyStandsUp on May 11, 2010 | Reply

    We’ll see when training camps commence if Singletary has learned his lesson about wearing his players out before the season even starts and if he buys a belt before pregame speeches.
    Don’t care what the prognosticators think, until another team wins the division, the NFC West is Cardinal Country.

  15. By pete on May 11, 2010 | Reply

    Wow gotta see that coming

  16. By DRC#1FAN on May 11, 2010 | Reply

    Beanie vs. Gore
    Fitz vs. Crabtree
    Lienart vs. Smith
    Becht vs. Davis
    Veteran line vs. Rookie line
    Dockette vs. ???? no idea
    Porter vs. Willis
    Wilson vs. Taylor Mayes? hahaha
    The Whiz vs. Singletary

    I like the coach mathcup the best. that would make a good episode of Celebrety Death Match

  17. By cory on May 12, 2010 | Reply

    My brother in law and I drove to San Fran to watch them play on MNF last year (met some fantastic Cards fans there too). I can honestly tell you that I DESPISE San Fran fans after that game. I cannot wait for us to pay those people back. These games are circled in red on my calendar…. Cardinal Red.

  18. By fitzis11red on May 12, 2010 | Reply

    Tuscon Tim-

    With all do respect, if the 49ers beat Minnesota and Indianapolis there 10-6. We get the two games against the 49ers and were 12-4. In my opinion these teams are really evenly matched and the 49ers can be scary in 2010. Whichever QB has the better season, I believe, will win this division. I have faith in Matty and our D. But you are right the tide can swing either way in any given game and we need to take care of buisness against this team in 2010. My prediction is both teams will be 9-6 going into week 17 and the winner wins the division. Go CARDS!!!!!

  19. By Michael from stl on May 12, 2010 | Reply

    dockett would be compared to justin smith and i hate the 49ers but Justin smith is a beast because he went to mizzou(i live in missouri)

  20. By KG on May 12, 2010 | Reply


    Have you asked Darnell what it is about the Niners specifically that gets his blood boiling? I mean, he HATES the Niners and he doesn’t seem to have as much vitriol towards many other teams, including the other two teams in the division. My brother showed me the tweets yesterday while I was at the Dbacks game and I love when he gets going on those guys. I was just curious to know where he developed this deep seated hatred for them.

  21. By darrenurban on May 12, 2010 | Reply

    KG —

    Honestly, I don’t think it has anything to do with anything besides the fact they are the team that is competing with the Cards for the division right now. If the Niners were playing like the Rams and the Rams had built up like the Niners, I’m pretty sure Darnell would be “hating” the Rams more.

  22. By wampag on May 12, 2010 | Reply

    D- its a long time till anything good happens oh Footbal i miss thee


  23. By Exter on May 12, 2010 | Reply

    A little off the subject but i was curious about our line-backer core. I was wondering which one of our young linebackers’ has been helping his purpose by gaining ground this mini camp so far? And who do you predict will be starting at that position this season? Stevie Baggs? Cody Brown? Washington? or has someone else stepped up that i havent mentione?

  24. By darrenurban on May 12, 2010 | Reply

    Exter —

    I know everyone hates it when I do this, but way, way, way too early to tell. I know fans want answers, but the bottom line, answers don’t come in May. There are no pads, no contact. Guys don’t make moves until training camp. Everyone right now will get relatively equal reps as they learn the system.

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