This weekend was a bad one for NFL coaches. I didn’t think that it could get much worse than coaches breaking legs AND tearing patellar tendons, but then the Detroit/San Francisco game ended in something that looked even more uncomfortable than Kirk Cameron’s most recent birthday party.
During the post game handshake Jim Harbaugh, the 49er’s rookie head coach, was so excited about his upstart team’s last second win over the previously undefeated Lions, that he pulled a real no-brainer.
In a jubilant sprint, he gave losing head coach Jim Schwartz of Detroit a “hand slap-chest bump” handshake- like the two of them were frat bro’s celebrating at a kegger.
Jim Schwartz didn’t like it.
While Harbaugh’s over expressive and self-congratulatory choice of post-game greeting was clearly over the top, how he ended the “handshake” may have been even worse. At the speed both men were moving, there was going to be an inevitable collision.
Harbaugh did the old “side step and push around” maneuver that you do when cutting your way through a theme park crowd.
Jim Schwartz really didn’t like that.
As Harbaugh rushed to resume his “all-over-the-field” celebration, Schwartz looked back and “F-bombed” him to little effect. When he realized how little impact his “fudging” of Harbaugh accomplished, he ran after him, applying the amount of body and language he felt was adequate to express his frustration.
Jim Harbaugh didn’t like that.
But this is where the paths of the two Jims diverge. Whereas Schwartz heaped confrontation on top of Harbaugh’s cluelessness, Harbaugh didn’t want any part of Schwartz’ escalation. It took a field full of players, coaches, and security personnel to keep Coach Schwartz away from Coach Harbaugh.
Schwartz didn’t much like that either.
At the press conference he pointed out that he didn’t like getting cussed at or shoved… even though he responded with an incredibly disproportionate amount of cussing and shoving. Harbaugh on the other hand admitted that the offense was “on me” and that his “handshake needed some work”.