The reality is that most of the players and coaches involved would treat each other politely in another setting. This was the case during March when San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and his Seattle Seahawks counterpart, Pete Carroll, hung out like old pals during the NFL owners meeting.
It was in this vein that Jed York, the 49ers' CEO and face of ownership, blessed the San Francisco Giants' recent decision to honor Carroll with a personalized jersey.
"Yeah, we obviously compete with the Seahawks and they are going to be very, very tough to beat this year," York told 95.7 FM The Game, "but Pete is a San Francisco guy. He loves the city of San Francisco. The Giants can honor Pete. That is something they are more than rightfully able to do. ... I don't take any offense to that or worry about that at all."
Matt from Berkeley, Calif., used the NFC West mailbag to point me toward the interview, which I had not heard before Monday.
"It's worthy of a blog post about it for the many Niner fans that did not get a chance to hear it," Matt wrote.
The interview was worth a listen, for sure. York covered familiar ground, including the potential for summer practices involving the 49ers and Oakland Raiders. He also reflected on his ownership tenure, noting that he has tried to admit mistakes instead of trying to justify them.
"The first decision I made as president of the 49ers, I hired Mike Singletary," York said. "I thought Mike was the right guy at the time. He turned out not to be the right fit."
The dilemma was clear. "Do I try to preserve my image and try to show that that was the right decision, or do you own up to it?" York said. The 49ers took the latter route, firing Singletary before hiring Harbaugh.
York showed a lighter side throughout the interview, including when hosts Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend alluded to an interview with tight-lipped general manager Trent Baalke.
"I'm sure he said a lot," York deadpanned.
York promised to prepare a Baalke impersonation for a later show, suggesting that Baalke and the Bob Einstein character "Super Dave Osborne" had to be "long, lost cousins" -- the type of reference a CEO makes during a radio program only within the context of a healthy front-office situation.