As far as rivalries go, the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers have one.
Often times matched up in prime time games or season openers, each team has spent time at the top of the NFC West over the last five years.
And dating back to 2006, the Cardinals have won five of the last 12 games between the teams.
Their games are rarely pretty and often close, though the occasional blowout has been sprinkled in.
So it makes sense, really, that the players on each side would not be too fond of each other.
A guest on SiriusXM NFL Radio Tuesday, Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell did not mince words when talking about his team’s next opponent.
“I really feel like I could have had four sacks last week and I had zero,” Campbell said. “So I gotta make up for that this week especially going against the 49ers who I really hate with a passion.
“I can’t wait to go out there and stick it to them.”
Campbell said he has no doubt 49ers quarterback Alex Smith is “thinking about me a little bit”, a statement that will likely ruffle a few feathers by the bay.
And given the fact that Campbell has picked up just two sacks in seven career games against the 49ers, it’s worth wondering if his statement is little more than pregame posturing.
At any rate, when informed that word out of San Francisco is that they are fans of the Cardinals, Campbell said that’s perfectly fine.
“Yeah, that’s the way it is, though; it’s cool, it’s the way it is,” Campbell said. “It’s a rival game; they’re not supposed to like me. I’m not supposed to like you. That’s what makes this game so special.”
Besides, it’s not personal, just business.
“I mean, off the field I don’t have nothing against anybody but on that field, come Monday night, it’s on and crackin’,” Campbell said.