1. Jim Harbaugh was wrong.
2. Jim Harbaugh ran like a girl when it was clear Schwartz had something to say.
3. Schwartz's reputation as a "class act" is not exactly rock solid either.
4. The NFL should fine both coaches a small amount (5k) and be done.
5. Coaches should be allowed to say "I shake hands before the game, not after."
Okay, that's where I stand. Now, something else from the incident that is worth bringing to light. Mike Pereira points out that Harbaugh might well have been aware of Schwartz clowning him during the game from his own sideline.
As he was being tackled by Patrick Willis, Willis stripped the ball out of Pettigrew’s hands, but Pettigrew was already down. Harbaugh tried to challenge the ruling, but was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.
While replay did its job on this play, confirming the ruling, Harbaugh attempted to challenge the ruling on the field and was hit with the penalty. Coaches are not allowed to challenge inside of two minutes if they are out of challenges, if they are out of timeouts or if a play is ruled a score.
Harbaugh deserved the penalty, but didn’t deserve the verbal abuse that came from the Lions coach on the other sideline. Schwartz was seen on television mocking Harbaugh by yelling something like, "Know the rules," except with a little off-color language thrown in.
Although Harbaugh denied seeing it, it makes me wonder whether the ill will didn’t start right there. Because with as many television cameras that cover the NFL these days, everybody sees everything. And I’m sure someone must have told him.What's funny, is that a more seasoned coach with a real resume, could pull out the ol' "well, this ain't college, Jimmy Rah Rah" angle on Harbaugh. But who the hell is Jim Schwartz? A nobody, really. So he has no standing or stature to pull that off.
For me, I am fascinated at the undeclared, yet undeniable importance of a post-game ritual that lasts - at best! - 2 seconds. Look at the end of an NFL game, and you'll see a gaggle of vested photographers converge to document the handshake. TV networks will purposely slow walk the ending of their telecast, just to make sure they get the "handshake" on TV.
Hell, it's not the Yalta Conference. It's a handshake!
Bottom line is this: it shouldn't be so hard for coaches, competitive or "fiery" as they may be, to share a respectful game concluding handshake with each other and then part ways.
What Harbaugh did would have been unacceptable in any situation. He's lucky it took Schwartz a second to realize Jimmy College was being a total jackass, and intentionally showing him up. He's also lucky he didn't get dotted in the eye.
It doesn't make Schwartz right. He can be a jumpy jackass of his own. But Harbaugh is going to be a targeted man by the rest of the league from here on out.