Jim Harbaugh denies honking at Seattle Seahawks bus

By Kevin Patra
Updated: Dec. 25, 2012 at 06:12 a.m.

Honk-gate, the Phantom Honk, the Honk Heard 'Cross the Bay -- whatever you want to call it, San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh says it never happened.

Following the Seattle Seahawks' 42-13 beat down of the 49ers Sunday Night, two Seattle defensive backs, Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman, told Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports that Harbaugh honked his car horn and waved at their bus following a 49ers victory over the 'Hawks in October.

Harbaugh denied the accusation Monday:

"No. No, that did not occur. That's a fabrication," he said, via the San Francisco Chronicle.

Harbaugh submitted as proof the incident couldn't have occurred that he hasn't yet left the home stadium before the visiting team was long gone.

"I can't think of a time when I've left the game and the other team's still been there this entire season," he said.

While this particular controversy might be contrived, what is not is the bitterness being built between these division rivals. The Seahawks -- feeling like they've had to live in the shadow of the 49ers hype -- have played with a chip on their shoulder all season, and gained a physiological edge after Sunday's blowout.

Whether they meet again in the playoffs or we have to wait for next season's games, the acrimony won't have dissipated.