Stumbling over landmines here, so I'll start with some disclaimers:
1) There's obviously a real rivalry, and 9ers fans who claim otherwise (particularly while posting on this board, and even more particularly while making threads claiming otherwise on this board
) are completely full of it.
2) This is also a rivalry that the Hawks are quite clearly currently winning.
3) Silly stuff happens on every forum, and posters should ideally be judged by the quality of their posting, not by the lowest hanging fruit of their respective fanbases.
4) As a general rule "everyone over there" statements are wrong.
5) Despite my fandom, on balance I greatly prefer this place to the Webzone, which is a hot @ss mess IMO, whereas this place generally isn't.
Okay, with all of that out of the way, here it is:
It's really strange how good of a source this forum is for 49ers news. That's not because 9ers fans are posting 9ers news here. Of all the fan forums I've been to (and I've been to a lot) I've never seen a forum generates as many inane and pointless threads about a rival team. Overall I think the quality of posting here is really high, but the archaeological excavating of any and all things that could possibly be negatively spun about the 9ers or people affiliated with them is really atypical. Sorry, but from what I've seen across many forums I believe this to be true.
I've alluded to this before, but I weakly suspect it's two things (which are not intended to offend):
1) The Hawks are an exceptionally good team, and most likely the best team in the NFL, but they haven't won anything yet. The fanbase is as excited about the team as it has ever been, and deservedly so, but until they win it all with this team (which I expect them to do soon, and which wouldn't surprise a single NFL fan) there's going to be kind of a manic edge to some of that very deserved excitement. This kind of manic-edged excitement is compounded by #2.
2) The Seattle-Sports-Victim-Complex isn't universal, but it's a real thing. A proportion of the fanbase feels overlooked and ignored up there in the corner, and has also grown pretty fatalistic and just assumes that things always go wrong in the end. The Mariners were great through the mid to late 1990s but never won a championship. The Hawks were very good in the 80s and 2000s but never won a championship. The only team from Seattle that ever won a championship was bad, still totally beloved, and completely stolen from you guys only to start almost instantly competing on the national stage in the NBA for reasons completely unrelated to the change of scenery.
These two things are a wild cocktail to mix up. You have near manic excitement mixed in with a victim complex and some degree of fatalism. For some folks, no matter what they do, they just know they've been done worse (the worst of all of course, is having been ignored). Basically I think there's some crazy exhaling going on here, and a lot of the inane and celebratory angry 9ers threads (and the smilie, and the sigs) are just kind of some weird form of "payback" for something that most outsiders never even knew existed in the first place.
In the long run I think the team is friggin awesome though, I think they'll payoff on their awesomeness, and I think this weird sorta quirk of a really good collection of posters and fans will fade away into a more typical level of dislike for one's rival.
Sorry for the long post, and again, not intended to offend.