No professional sports teams have to travel farther than the Seattle Mariners and the Seattle Seahawks to get to their nearest rivals. The shortest trips they can take for an away game is about 800 miles south along Interstate 5 to the Bay Area, to play the Oakland Athletics or the San Francisco 49ers.
That means Seattle teams don’t really have natural rivalries. Those closest rivals are, to be frank, more storied franchises. On rivalry weekends during Major League Baseball season, the A’s are matched against the San Francisco Giants. The Mariners are artificially paired with the San Diego Padres or some other orphan team. The so-called rivalry between the Seahawks and the 49ers, which the booth announcers will advertise endlessly when the two teams meet in the NFC championship this weekend, is a much more recent development. The 49ers are more traditionally rivals of the Dallas Cowboys and other, older NFL teams.