How Long Before People Figure out Jim Harbaugh Is the Biggest Jerk in the NFL?

Max RauschSenior Writer IIOctober 16, 2011

DETROIT - OCTOBER 16: Jim Harbaugh head coach of the San Francisco 49ers argues with Jim Schwartz of the Detroit Lions during the NFL game at Ford Field on October 16, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The 49ers defeated the Lions 25-19. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Jim Harbaugh’s spat with fiery Lions’ coach Jim Schwartz was no surprise to me.  This is nothing new for Harbaugh.

Harbaugh’s cocky style was the stuff of legend throughout college football.  Not even Bill Belichick, the Hooded Horror himself, would call a play where the ENTIRE offensive line shifts in the second half of an out-of-hand game as Harbaugh did at the 2011 Orange Bowl.

As soon as I saw video of the botched handshake and heard Harbaugh smugly explain how he set the Lions’ coach off by ‘shaking his hand too hard’  I knew the former ‘Captain Comeback’ was up to his old tricks. 

ESPN’s Kevin Seifert blames Schwartz for the budding feud.  He has a point.  Schwartz is known for his own arrogant sideline shenanigans. As a result, fans are likely to give Harbaugh the benefit of the doubt and keep the jerk card in their back pocket. For now.

But, don’t be surprised to see Harbaugh’s name in a few more coaching feuds by the end of this season. 

My guess is people will start to realize he is the biggest prick in the NFL somewhere around his third coaching feud, shortly after the 49ers' Week 15 Monday night game against the Steelers

By this time the fun and fuzzy memories of Harbaugh-Bowl I will have left the public’s mind and Jim will have had it out with at least one more head coach 

If I had to put money on the victim and date of feud number two I would go with Tom Coughlin in Week 10.


Regardless, people will still think of him as a decent dude.

But when he does something to piss off the always-classy Mike ‘Nate Dogg-Omar Epps’ Tomlin, NFL fans and media will start to realize Harbaugh is kind of a prick. 

This process can only be slowed one way: the 49ers continue win games at a late-eighties pace. 

If this happens the Bill Belichick effect will come into play. Harbaugh will be lauded as the brash leader the Niners needed to return to glory, instead of one of the NFL’s Biggest Jerks. 

Anybody else have any projections?  Think it will take more than one season for Harbaugh to cement himself in the Bill Parcells’ Pantheon of NFL Jerks? Feel free to prove me wrong in the comments.