The New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks have a rivalry brewing.
The two NFC powerhouses clashed in Seattle on Saturday, and the drama started well before the opening kickoff. Saints tight end Jimmy Graham had a couple of heated confrontations with several Seahawks players, including Bruce Irvin, Bobby Wagner and Richard Sherman.
Saturday’s first altercation came hours before kickoff. Graham exchanged words with Irvin and Wagner as a Saints staff member tried to separate the two sides. Graham even yanked a knit cap off Irvin’s head, which further fueled the tension that already had begun to mount.
The two sides weren’t done, though. Graham got into another verbal exchange with the Seahawks just moments before the game’s opening kickoff. Sherman was among the Seattle players involved. He chirped in Graham’s direction as the tight end made hand gestures toward his adversaries. The officials and nearby coaches needed to intervene.
The Saints and Seahawks figure to be near the top of the NFC over the next few years, so this whole ordeal could carry over into next season. It should be a wild ride, and we’ll be able to look back at Saturday as the point at which the rivalry really kicked into high gear.