Jim Harbaugh v Jim Schwartz. It’s the talk of sports, overshadowing the NFL’s Week Six Sunday, and the St. Louis Cardinals’ second trip to The World Series in six years. Harbaugh v Schwartz is being compared to some of the greatest sports fights and NFL scuffles in history. And what’s so amazing is neither person actually threw a punch.
What happened was that the National Football League got a taste of the Jim Harbaugh Cal Bears Football fans came to know and to loathe when he coached the Stanford Cardinal. Some of my friends tell different versions of the time Coach Harbaugh, called “Hairball” by Cal fans, reportedly openly made fun of the clothes Cal Head Coach Jeff Tedford was wearing. And there are many other stories about Harbaugh, all of which come under the heading of poor sportspersonship.
But the incident with Detroit Lions Head Coach Jim Schwartz was more about a very excited Harbaugh – gidddy after his 49ers beat the previously unbeaten Lions at 25 to 19 at Ford Field – quickly dispensing with the formality of the handshake with the opposing coach, and looking for anyone in 49ers colors he could congratulate.
And why not?
Harbaugh took a team that, because it was the victim of (let’s face it) poor coaching by Mike Singletary and his staff, was panned for having bad personnel and a quarterback in Alex Smith who was considered a bust, and posted a losing record, and now has them at 5 wins and just one loss.
Pretty good stuff.
So, this corner can forgive Harbaugh for getting more than a little excited. It was Jim Schwartz who basically took a non-issue and made it into an issue. Schwartz, smarting from a home loss, took Harbaugh’s slap in the back the wrong way and sprinted off to confront him.
That was wrong for Schwartz to do.
Later, Schwartz would say that Harbaugh said something profane to him. Harbaugh, implying that Schwartz was in some way weak, said that he just shook his hand too hard.
Who was wrong? I say Schwartz.
What say you? Take my poll.