I have a bad taste in my mouth. I guess a 25-19 loss — and the first of the season — will do that to you. But this is actually directed more at what happened after the game, than what happened during it.
I’ll have a game recap up soon, but for now, the loss can pretty much be summed up by this:
Let’s not pretend like Jim Harbaugh has ever kept his emotions to himself. And for that matter, let’s not pretend like Jim Schwartz has either. These are two head coaches who are reserved when they need to be but also have very little problem in celebrating a victory right along with the rest of their players. The “Jim Schwartz Fist Pump” has become a recurring theme throughout the season.
In a lot of ways, the emotion these two guys show is one of the main reasons these formerly terrible teams are a combined 10-2 through the first six weeks of the NFL season.
I will not confuse celebrating your teams victory with classlessness. They are very different.
But with that being said, what Harbaugh did after today’s game was nothing short of classless. Maybe I’m bitter. Maybe I’m still reeling from Harbaugh’s decision to turn down his Alma Mater, the University of Michigan last year, who had all but offered him the head coaching job. I can say I’m now grateful that didn’t happen, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still hold a grudge.
If you want to celebrate on the sidelines post win, go for it. If you want to jump on your players and pump your fists as you run across the field, fine. But once you reach midfield and you have to give the opponents head coach a handshake, that’s when you stop.
The problem is, Harbaugh didn’t.
Per Albert Breer, Harbaugh said after the game that he was too revved up and shook Schwartz’s hand “too hard.” According to Mike Florio, Schwartz said he went out to midfield to congratulate Harbaugh and “got shoved out of the way.” He also said, “I didn’t expect an obscenity at that point.”
Schwartz also said: “I didn’t expect it. After the game, I went to shake the opponent coach’s hand. Obviously, you win a game like that, you’re excited and things like that, but I think there’s a protocol that goes with this league.”
I’m not going to pretend like Schwartz is the saint here. He could have and should have handled himself in a little more dignified manner. But I think he felt disrespected on his home field, and for that, I 100 percent understand why he did what he did. And if it’s true that Harbaugh aimed obscenities at him, then it’s absolutely unacceptable.
I think if he didn’t chase after Harbaugh, he would be facing such scrutiny from a lot of people, but I also doubt there are many people who can say they wouldn’t have reacted the same way in that situation.
There is a time and a place to act like you just won the Super Bowl. In the face of the opponent’s coach, is not one of them. Harbaugh and his arrogance need to be knocked down a peg or two. Maybe a playoff rematch between these two teams will settle it.