The other day I was watching Sports Center and a commercial came on. This is not a shock as commercials are a large part in how TV makes its money. (see media economics people if you don't understand) What was a little surprising was the fact that this commercial, a Madden 25' commercial to be exact, starred both Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick along side each other. Now it is not unusual to see players from multiple teams in the same commercial, but it was strange seeing them in the same frame, playing together, and even fist bumping.
Now before I get to the point, let me say that I thought it was a very funny commercial, and I have no problem with the concept of them being all buddy buddy on screen. It does however bring to light how rivalries have changed in the NFL. Now the Seahawks/49ers rivalry is not on the same level as Cowboys/Giants, Ravens/Steelers, or even Packers/Bears, but it is starting to become one of the biggest and most fun rivalries in the game. And I start to wonder, how is it that the star QB's for this great rivalry are being all buddy buddy? Could you picture Namath chilling with Unitas in a commercial? How about Marino and Montana? Young and Aikman? I know it would have been a strange sight for me.
So here is my point: rivalries are changing in the NFL, and they will never be the same. Sure you'll get the occasional guy to stomp on another guy when he is down, and you'll get fights during the heat of the game which end up forming bad blood between two guys. But it is hard to picture an NFL in ten years where there is true hate between two teams. Now I'm not saying this is a bad thing, its simply an interesting thing. I've heard both sides about how hate makes the game more competitive, or that once you leave the field there should be no hard feelings. So I am interested in your opinions. Do you like the trend of today where everyone is buddy buddy? Or do you miss the good ole days where the game was fueled by hate almost as much as the desire to win? Hey maybe one day we'll see Tannehill and Geno share a fist bump in a Madden commercial.