What’s more fun that a good coaches fight?
Nothing, of course, which is why fans are disappointed that Lions coach Jim Schwartz didn’t throw down against 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh during their post-game ruckus. It sounds like he sure wanted to.
Let us go to the scribes for a summation:
Drew Sharp, Detroit Free-Press: “Harbaugh was excessive. He said his only crime was giving Schwartz ‘too hard’ of a handshake. It wasn't a handshake. It was a crude form of the Heimlich maneuver. A 'fired up' Harbaugh didn't just slap Schwartz in the back. If Harbaugh were a high school bully, his actions would rank close to giving a guy a wedgie in gym class. Schwartz was visibly ticked. You didn't need to be an advanced lip reader to know what he said. He pursued Harbaugh, bumping him in the chest. And then apparently Harbaugh said something that transformed Schwartz into a Tasmanian devil. It was ugly. Coaches should know better.”
Gwen Knapp, San Francisco Chronicle: “With Sunday's win in Detroit, Jim Harbaugh probably proved that the 49ers have found the head coach to return them to greatness. He definitely established that, on his watch, the Chardonnay and Brie image from their first dynasty won't be making a comeback. If Bill Walsh once untucked his shirt, briefly flashed some abdomen, and if he chest-bumped an offensive lineman as he raced across a field after a big victory, YouTube doesn't have the clip. He definitely didn't offer up a handshake that turned the losing coach into a special-teams gunner and drew most of the players from both teams into a skirmish. No one has ever done that.”
Mark Purdy, San Jose Mercury News: “Let's face it. Winning makes emotion cool. And no one expected Harbaugh to win this much in his first season with the 49ers. So give it up for the man's fervor. Harbaugh is emotional on the sidelines. He's emotional at halftime. He's emotional after victories. He's emotional after defeats. He's probably emotional while in line at Starbucks. At the same time, it's fortunate that no one was hurt in Sunday's postgame scuffle. And at some point, the question must be asked: Can the players control their head coach?”
Michael Silver, Yahoo! Sports: “I like Harbaugh. I like Schwartz. I like raw emotion. And yet: Both coaches were off the chain after Sunday’s game, and each man exhibited the self-control of an eighth-grader. Thus, this being a diatribe, I am going to give them some scolding. First, Harbaugh: Dude, you won the game, and you’re excited. Congratulations. Next time, however, you might want to consider building a three-second break into your victory dance so that you can give a quick, legitimate handshake to your disappointed coaching counterpart. Similarly, after shaking hands, it’s probably a good idea to avoid slapping said counterpart in the back, thereby punking him in front of his assistants, his players, tens of thousands of fans and a national TV audience. Also, try offering what appears to be a sincere apology after the fact, however insincere it might be. Insincerity – that’s what coaches do. OK, now onto Schwartz: While Harbaugh’s aggressive handshake, shove to the back and possible obscenity may have riled you, and I can understand why you’d approach him a second time to express your displeasure, maybe go easy on the whole Ron Artest (aka Metta World Peace) impersonation. As the Chiefs’ Todd Haley can tell you, in the court of public opinion you’re in a no-win situation – given that your team lost. Also, all those speeches to your players about composure lose a little bit of oomph when the man delivering the message goes berserk with the whole world watching.”
Mike O’Hara, Detroit News: “If you're judging the fallout from Sunday's postgame coaches' confrontation between the Lions' Jim Schwartz and the 49ers Jim Harbaugh, put yourself in the position of the people who have the most to gain or lose. The NFL's schedule-maker and the network television executives should have only one regret: They have to wait until next year for the rematch. It's a pity the Lions and 49ers aren't in the same division and have another game scheduled for this season. The buildup for Harbaugh-Schwartz II would be unlike anything we've seen in Detroit in recent years — including last week's Lions-Bears game on Monday Night Football.”