The Detroit Lions lost to the San Francisco 49ers last year in the final minutes, ending their bid for a potential perfect season. Undefeated going into the game, Detroit surrendered a Delanie Walker touchdown catch on fourth-and-six with just 1:51 remaining.
The game, however, will be remembered for a handshake, not late-game heroics.
The game ended with the Lions trying a desperation hook-and-lateral play, which ended 69 yards short of the goal line. After that, a brawl ensued.
49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh got a bit too emotional during his post-game handshake, giving Lions Head Coach Jim Schwartz a firm pat on the back in the process. Schwartz took exception to this and went storming after Harbaugh until players separated the two coaches.
It was quite a spectacle, and ESPN aired that 10-second bit over, and over, and over again, making sure everyone with a television set remembered it for life.
The coaches will meet once again, and as intense as these two are, I wouldn’t be surprised to see round two. I don’t think there is any love lost between these two, although neither one will admit it.
Schwartz has said that “I’ve seen [Harbaugh] a bunch of times” in the offseason, and refuses to talk up the meeting between them.
Harbaugh, meanwhile, has stirred the pot by completely ignoring the question altogether.
When asked if Harbaugh regretted the handshake incident, this was his response:
“The single most important factor in a football game is winning the football game. That’s our task every single week when we go into a game. The next game is the most important game. So looking back on that game, I have good memories from that game. But you can’t live in the past. You’ve got to live for the next game and the next opportunity….our philosophy on mini controversies is to give them the attention that they deserve which is very little.”
Hardly the apology we were hoping for.
Schwartz may have liked to hear an apology, but he knew he wouldn’t be getting one. These two wouldn’t apologize to grandma for stealing her cookies, and they certainly won’t apologize for a handshake.
Look out this Sunday night; should one of these coaches run up the score, things could come to blows afterward.
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