The beauty of Jim Harbaugh for the people that cover him and the San Francisco 49ers is that the material is seemingly endless, especially when he decides that the high road is not always the best road taken.
Obviously there was plenty to talk about from the 49ers’ 34-28 win over the Green Bay Packers Sunday, September 8. Blown calls by the officials, outstanding play by Colin Kaepernick and tremendous football all the way around highlighted the conversation.
On Monday, however, after Harbaugh grudgingly fulfilled his weekly duty of addressing the media, the walking news filler delivered another gem. Addressing the late hit by Clay Matthews on Kaepernick and the skirmish that ensued, here’s what Harbaugh had to say, via David Fucillo of ninersnation.com:
I looked at it with my own eyes I could see two punches throws to Joe's head, well one punch and one open slap. Which, if you're going to go to the face come with some knuckles, not an open slap. I think that young man works very hard on being a tough guy. He'll have some repairing to do to his image after the slap.
Talk about a kick to the groin, or in this case, a slap in the face (sorry, I couldn’t resist)! And, unsurprisingly, the Twitter world reacted.
Look, obviously anyone with half a brain knows that coming with “some knuckle” against a guy wearing a helmet probably isn’t the best idea. Unless you’re the hulk, the likelihood of actually doing more damage to the other players face then to your own hand isn’t very high.
But, honestly, who cares? This was vintage Harbaugh, and this is why we love—or in some cases, hate—him. He’s the anti-Bill Belichick, willing to throw the fans and media a bone every once in a while.
To the Packers and head coach Mike McCarthy’s credit, they decided the high road was just fine and decided to not address Harbaugh’s comments, via Michael David Smith of profootballtalk.nbcsports.com:
Clay Matthews is not a dirty player, by no means, McCarthy said. I addressed Harbaugh’s comments in the team meeting, and as always, we’ll stay above it.
With Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks on the horizon this week, the highroad will no doubt be nonexistent. Expect sparks to fly, both on and off the field. And we’ll all continue to sit here, happily gobbling it all up.