One of the most bizarre events in recent NFL history took place last weekend during the postgame events following the Lions-49ers game. The game was billed as one of the biggest of the weekend, surprisingly. The Niners have not been a legitimate contender for more than a decade and the Lions have been futile since the 1950s. However, both teams are seeing success this year in the form of 5-1 records. While the game was a hard fought match that came down to the final minutes, it is the post-game handshake that most people are talking about.
As the final seconds ticked away, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh was extremely exuberant. He was jumping up and down, chest pumping his players and celebrating a big win. When he went in for the customary handshake with Lions head coach Jim Schwartz, he forcefully grabbed his hand and slapped him on the back, slightly shoving him. Schwartz, feeling disrespected, ran after Harbaugh and had to be separated by officials and players. Players often scuffle with the opposition but coaches keep level heads, so this was definitely something that most fans had not seen before. Not to mention it was quite entertaining.
In my opinion, Harbaugh needs to watch tape and see how NFL coaches conduct themselves following games. This is his first year coaching in the league; he was previously a college football coach. NFL coaches have been meeting at midfield to shake hands and wish each other luck for years now. Win or lose, coaches must show a certain level of humility, not act as if they have just won the Super Bowl. It’s Week 6! Act like you’ve won a game before Harbaugh! As far as Coach Schwartz, I feel like his actions were justified. I don’t think he was going to physically attack Harbaugh but he needed to prove his point. His team just saw him disrespected and he needed to call Harbaugh out on it. How could he continue to tell his players to fight and play hard if he had let that slide and let Harbaugh punk him like that? Personally, if a man puts his hands on me like that in a disrespectful manner as if to say “get out of my way”, we’d have major problems. I fully side with Jim Schwartz on this one.