The only thing that enrages a competitor more than a loss is a loss to someone who rubs it in.
Jim Harbaugh acted like he won his first game as a head coach and/or won the Super Bowl after the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Detroit Lions 25-19 on Sunday afternoon. After the 49ers stopped a miracle-lateral attempt by the Lions, Harbaugh rushed the field, untucked his shirt and started jumping up and down. Between chest bumping a player, raising his hands in the air and pumping his fists, he managed to find the time to wind up for a high five with Jim Schwartz at midfield.
Schwartz didn’t take Harbaugh’s display of unprofessionalism too well. As the 49ers head coach trotted away, Schwartz, with an angry glare on his face, said something to Harbaugh. All of a sudden, the only thing keeping the Lions leader from decapitating Harbaugh were the players and coaches holding Schwartz back.
With players in between, naturally they started fighting too. You could say that the game of the week lived up to its expectations and more. Roger Goodell is probably already primed to fine Schwartz for losing his cool, but each coach is to blame for the brawl.
The way Harbaugh reacted was a joke. This isn’t Stanford; they didn’t just win the Rose Bowl and even then, that’s no way to show your respect to an opposing head coach. Of course, nothing less should be expected from the coach who didn’t exactly have a friendly exchange with Pete Carroll after Stanford took out USC back in 2009.
No matter how many fireworks Harbaugh was ready to fire after the win, there’s no excuse for the way Schwartz reacted. He lost his cool and he’ll definitely regret igniting his short fuse as his explosion is already all over the Internet. Schwartz should’ve just brushed off Harbaugh and used his display of a lack of sportsmanship as motivation for next time.
Fingers should be pointed in both directions on this one as each coach proved that their up and coming teams aren’t ready to take the next step under their leadership.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer. Follow him on Twitter.