SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has become a proverbial thorn in the 49ers’ side, in particular the past two seasons when his team gained considerable ground on their NFC West rival.
Sherman isn’t shy about speaking his mind about much. He seems to take particular delight in poking the 49ers.
When the 49ers beat the Seahawks at Candlestick Park on Dec. 8, he blamed poor officiating.
“We didn’t project it to be this way,” said Sherman, who played for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh at Stanford. “We expected to blow them out, but they got the benefit of a few calls throughout the game. … We will see them again, and it will be a different result.”
The 49ers and Seahawks meet for the third time this season Sunday in the NFC Championship Game in Seattle. The Seahawks beat the 49ers 29-3 at CenturyLink Field on Sept. 15.
Harbaugh on Wednesday had nothing but flowery praise for Sherman, who said Harbaugh ignored him after the teams’ first meeting this season when Sherman approached Harbaugh after the game.
“Great memories of Richard Sherman when we were teammates at Stanford University,” Harbaugh said, “but now we’re adversaries, competitors. I still wish Richard great success and happiness in his career.
“But I can’t wish him luck this week because we’re playing him, but great memories, fond memories, of Richard when we were together.”
After the first game in Seattle, Sherman appeared to give Harbaugh a pat on the backside.
“I told him good game, good job,” Sherman said at the time, “but he didn’t give me nothing back. I guess sportsmanship doesn’t go both ways.”