Last night on Twitter I said that I was just about over the whole Jim Schwartz-Jim Harbaugh post-game confrontation. Before we put a bow on it though, I wanted to take one last look at it and sort of break down the film. Due to the movements of everybody involved, pictures are not particularly useful in determining what was said. I'd simply recommend checking out NFL.com's video of the incident as you read along.
After the game, Jim Schwartz said he was cursed at and shoved and that is what set him off. Accordingly, I took a look at the video right around the handshake. Just before the handshake, Harbaugh pulls his shirt out from his pants. This is something he has done every week as a way of saying the work is now done. There was some mention of Blake Costanzo motioning for him to do it a couple weeks ago, I believe against the Eagles.
He pulls the shirt out from the pants and looks close to chest-bump Alex Boone and then hops over to shake hands with Schwartz. Right before he shakes Schwartz's hand he appears to yell something. I ran that back in slow motion and as best I can tell, all he says is "Yeeeeaaaaa!!!!" You would be able to tell if he had said F--- Yeeeaaaa!!! or any other two syllable curse. I just didn't see it. I did see Jim Schwartz drop an f-bomb, but that's the only swearing I heard before they moved closer to the tunnel.
At the end of the day, this really should be something everyone can get past and move ahead to the coming games. Coach Harbaugh acknowledged that he was too revved up and shook his hand too hard. He compared it to his handshakes with Blake Costanzo, and maybe Coach just sort of blacked out for a minute thinking it was another 49ers player.
Jim Schwartz's own reaction was also over the top as he tried to chase down Harbaugh and get in his face to mix it up. Thankfully 49ers PR guru Bob Lange got in between them and then got some help from officials and players. The best part of this was that the players managed to not take swings at each other. Although, it's possible they viewed it as comically as Anthony Davis appears to in this picture.
Although this is something that could join Crown Them! and Playoffs?! in the pantheon of future beer commercials, I really don't think it should be too huge a deal moving forward. I would argue the two coaches appear to have somewhat similar personalities on the field. Maybe they are not identical, but the fiery emotion is there for both of them.
I do think there is a certain amount of professionalism and decorum that should be shown, but I also think sports is as much about emotions as anything else. You have to be able to control your emotions (see Singletary, Mike), but letting it out after a tough win is not the end of the world.
Naturally this has some folks talking a bit of smack about Harbaugh, but in reality I think that too is overblown. It may rub other coaches the wrong way, but this game isn't about making friends. There are certain ways to handle yourself, but I also think if a rookie coach gets crapped on because of things like this, people need to loosen up.
Of course, if the 49ers and Lions were to meet in the playoffs, the storylines would be set. It would take Week 1's "What's Your Deal?!" Bowl to an unheard of level. Wall-to-wall Harbaugh/Schwartz coverage!