Detroit Lions

Here’s why Jim Harbaugh may have wanted to stick it to Jim Schwartz

Since as Stanford’s head coach Jim Harbaugh famously ran up the score on Pete Carroll’s USC Trojans, leading to the infamous “what’s your deal?” confrontation after the game during the postgame handshake, many have been quick to call out Harbaugh for being class-deficient during yesterday’s midfield meeting with Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz after the 49ers’ 25-19 victory.

Harbaugh did kind of run up the score on Tampa Bay a week before, and by the way he was jumping and pulling his shirt up, as well as how he “shook” Schwartz’s hand and “patted” him on the back after beating the Lions, it looked a little like Harbaugh was actively trying to make an enemy.

Well, as countless children have said about their siblings or classmates after getting in trouble, Harbaugh could easily say of Schwartz, “He started it!”

Harbaugh probably didn’t even know how smarmy and arrogant Schwartz sounded before the game with Tony Siragusa, when in response to a question about the crowd noise, Schwartz said, “They just deferred on the kickoff. They don’t want to go on offense with this crowd.”

It seemed like what I had suspected in the week leading up to yesterday’s game was true: Schwartz was a little annoyed that most of the credit for his team’s 5-0 record leading into Sunday’s game against the Niners was given to talented young players like Calvin Johnson, Ndamukong Suh, Jahvid Best and Matthew Stafford, while the 49ers’ unexpected early success was considered by many to be directly related to Harbaugh replacing Mike Singletary.

“Learn the rules, Harbaugh!”

I’d heard after the game that Schwartz had some things to say after Harbaugh threw that challenge flag on Brandon Pettigrew’s TD reception, which drew a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct because coaches can’t challenge scoring plays. So I went back and checked it out, and Schwartz was shown yelling, “Learn the rules, Harbaugh!” by the Fox cameras. I have no idea how I missed this, really.

So I took my cellphone camera, recorded what was shown on TV and uploaded the video for your viewing pleasure. Unfortunately, the sound is terrible for some reason and actually cuts out halfway through, but even people who can’t read lips should be able to tell what Schwartz was yelling and to whom his words were directed.

And if Harbaugh didn’t notice Schwartz rubbing salt in his wound, someone on the 49ers’ sideline surely did.

Now I’ll admit complete and total bias, but Schwartz comes off looking like a real turkey here. Perhaps these two have history with each other, who knows. However, he showed poor sportsmanship before Harbaugh did, and he could’ve just as easily let it go when Harbaugh returned the favor. Instead, Schwartz sprinted all the way to the tunnel looking as if he wanted to throw a punch.

Then Schwartz said, “After the game, went to shake an 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.” In other words, rookie head coaches who haven’t amassed AMAZING 10-25 lifetime records should be seen and not heard.

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