Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll have never seemed to like each other, either when they were rivals at the college level when Harbaugh coached Stanford and Carroll coached USC, or now that they’re NFL rivals, coaching against each other twice a year — and now for a third time this season in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday.
But as Harbaugh’s 49ers prepare to face Carroll’s Seahawks, Harbaugh was asked today if he feels personal animosity toward Carroll. And Harbaugh said he feels nothing for the coach on the other side of the field other than a healthy sense of competition.
“Animosity? No. Erroneous. Erroneous. It’s football. It’s competition. It’s winning,” Harbaugh said. “Football. Competition. Winning. That’s the sport. That’s what we’ve had, great competition.”
The infamous “What’s your deal?” handshake confrontation in 2009, after Harbaugh’s Cardinal ran up the score on Carroll’s Trojans, made clear that Harbaugh and Carroll are far from best buddies. But they’re not meeting in Seattle on Sunday to be friends. They’re meeting in, as Harbaugh said, one more chapter in a great competition.