Posted by Will Brinson
Yesterday's incident at midfield between Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz led everything sports-related all of Sunday night and continued through Monday morning. The randomness of the anger between the respective coaches of the 49ers and the Lions shocked everyone and sparked a slew of discussions about who would be the best coach to have in your corner for a steel-cage death match.
But maybe Harbaugh's outburst and Schwartz anger wasn't as random as it seems.
Perhaps, instead, we can trace the incident to a dinner in March of 2011 that featured Schwartz, Harbaugh and Ravens coach (and brother of Jim) John Harbaugh. John relates that, at the dinner, Schwartz essentially told Jim if the lockout continued, he would be unable to win as a head coach. This didn't sit well with Jim.
"We were having dinner the other night and Jim Schwartz told him basically there’s no way you’re going to be able to get it done (if the lockout lasts into the summer)," John Harbaugh said, per the Santa Clara Press-Democrat. "He told him there’s no way you’re going to be able to accomplish what you need to accomplish in two weeks if this thing lasts a while.
"Jim just kind of bit his tongue, which is what you’ve got to do in this situation. Because there’s nothing you can do about it."
In other words, it's pretty obvious that Jim drew a big, fat Sharpie-style circle around the October 16 matchup in Detroit.
And then there's some additional evidence of how things escalated during the game yesterday -- Chris Chase of Yahoo's Shutdown Corner pulled the video of the first-quarter touchdown that Brandon Pettigrew caught, a play which was challenged by Harbaugh.
Obviously, you can't challenge a scoring play. Harbaugh forgot that, and Schwartz definitely let him know, screaming something like "Know the rules!" across the field.
So it's possible (likely?) that such exuberance preceded Harbaugh's celebration. But it also seems likely that this is a feud that's been brewing for longer than just the brief moments before their post-game handshake.
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