Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett really know how to pump up the fans. Through their stellar play on the field and ability to get to the opposing quarterback, Campbell and Dockett have become not only fixtures along the defensive line for the Cardinals, but players that see themselves as retiring in Arizona. In essence, they have embodied the culture of the Arizona Cardinals.
And just like any good Cardinals fan, Campbell and Dockett hate the San Francisco 49ers.
"I really felt like I could have had four sacks last week and I had zero," Campbell said Tuesday. "So I've got to 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. And Alex Smith I've gotten down a few times, so I know he's thinking about me a little bit. So I can't wait to get out there."
To me, this is a genuine dislike. Campbell recently signed a five-year deal with the Cardinals, so it is safe to say he's not going anywhere for a while. He has become a true Cardinal and I believe he actually does hate the 49ers. I mean, a lot of people have to see there in-laws twice a year and they don't really like them, either. Same principle.
Dockett seems to be in the same boat. Campbell had this to say about his veteran teammate:
"He's probably the person that hates the 49ers more than anybody on our team."
Dockett has been a Cardinal for even longer than Campbell and the likelihood that he remains in Arizona for the rest of his career is pretty good. His hate seems pretty genuine, as he is probably tired of losing to San Francisco. The Cardinals have been defeated by the 49ers in five of their last six meetings.
Real hate? I think so. And it's good for the rivalry. It gets fans fired up, wanting to see their favorite team beat their least favorite team. It also gets the casual observer in the game more, wanting to see a little chippy play on the field.
Keep on hatin', Calais.