Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz, two grown men coaching two NFL football teams in the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions, almost got into a fight Sunday over a football game. You may have heard.
Harbaugh's 49ers outlasted Schwartz's Lions, 25-19. Harbaugh was really excited that the 49ers had unseated the Lions as the national media's favorite surprise team of the year. Schwartz, on the other hand, was really bummed about it.
Those two emotions collided when the coaches met for the customary postgame handshake, which apparently for Harbaugh is the customary slap-hand-and-slap-back. Schwartz did not take too kindly to this, and he followed the customary slap-hand-slap-back with the customary chase-the-other-coach-down-the-field-and-yell-at-him.
You can bet, then, that this would not lead to any reaction any commentary from the peanut gallery, the guys sitting on their couches and weighing in with their opinions on the near-fisticuffs.
Wait, what's that? You actually did bet on that not happening? Well, you lost a lot of money.
Here are some of the best reactions, followed by video of what started it all:
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: Not that long ago, all coaches exuded a sense of dignity toward the game and respect toward each other. From Tom Landry to Chuck Noll to Bud Grant to John Madden to Don Shula, coaches didn't treat each other like opponents in the main event of the next pro wrestling pay-per-view. Even when Buddy Ryan was coaching, he was the lone exception - perhaps along with Jimmy Johnson, the man who succeeded Landry in Dallas. Right, except for that time Chuck Noll got into a spat with Houston Oilers coach Jerry Glanville.
John Pitarresi, Utica (N.Y.) Observer-Dispatch: From what I'm hearing, reading and seeing, Harbaugh is getting the better of the public relations battle after rough handshake and slap/push on the back. A lot of people don't seem to like Schwartz, who has a bit of a reputation as a cocky hothead, or so I'm hearing. I didn't know a thing about him before this season. Right, but what are you writing?
Mark Purdy, San Jose Mercury News: If anyone went too far over the line Sunday, it was probably Schwartz, who resembled a frothing dog as he charged after Harbaugh and slammed into his shoulder. Schwartz has gained a reputation as a borderline over-the-top coach who screams at officials and taunts other teams' players, so it was amusing to hear him talk about proper 'protocol' for handshakes as if he were Mr. Manners. Mr. Manners needs to be used more as a nickname.
Reeves Wiedman, The New Yorker: [Schwartz] might be forgiven for simply succumbing to the stress of a rough weekend for Detroit: the city's Tigers had given up nine runs in one inning on their way out of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, and his Lions had just suffered their first loss of the season. All that time he was chasing Harbaugh down, Schwartz was yelling about the misery of the Tigers' loss.
Bob Wojnowski, The Detroit News: Jim Schwartz probably doesn't like how he looked after the Lions' loss to the 49ers. Jim Harbaugh probably doesn't care how he looked.
Frankly, I think their tiff -- or to use a football term, kerfuffle -- was the perfect window into two teams and two coaches. I'll even add this: It was fun to see. Thank you.