DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 16: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers and the players on the side lines react to the video replay call on a late fourth quarter touchdown during a NFL game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on October 16, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The 49ers won 25-19 (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
I just got through watching Jim Harbaugh chat with the media and it should surprise nobody that somebody brought up the post-game handshake controversy from last year's 49ers-Lions game. The person (not a Cohn) asked about the handshake and then followed up a couple questions later asking about Coach Harbaugh's general philosophy on post-game sportsmanship.
Coach Harbaugh answered the question about as well as could be expected. He basically said it was a mini-controversy and people who use that to promote the game were missing the bigger point of the game. He repeatedly talked about having too much respect for the people that play the game to let this controversy take over. When the person followed up with the general philosophy question, it was safe to say Coach Harbaugh viewed that as going over the line in his mind.
And Coach Harbaugh made a great point. Last year, that controversy overshadowed what was an entertaining and thrilling matchup between two strong teams.
I wanted to bring this up in part to get it over and done with as we look ahead to the game. The national media will show clips of the handshake over and over again. I would imagine following yesterday's win, we'll see even more national media at the next Jim Harbaugh press conference (likely at the end of the week). That means more media who don't deal with Jim Harbaugh on a regular basis. I have to say, I'm kind of looking forward to that press conference to wrap up the practice week. It could get feisty.
And yet, this game features two teams sitting at 1-0 and looking to take a big step forward. The Lions escaped with a win over the Rams yesterday and will look to bounce back in Week 2. The 49ers are coming off a huge road win over the Packers and will look to build on that momentum.
Whatever we may think of Jim Schwartz as a coach and a personality, it really doesn't matter. If he makes an ass out of himself on the sideline, as long as the 49ers win it doesn't really matter. This is a big game featuring two teams with a lot of weapons on both sides of the ball. I like the 49ers chances in this one, but it won't be a gimme. The 49ers went into Detroit last year and grabbed the Lions zero. I'd certainly enjoy seeing them do it again this year, even if it is a few weeks earlier.