Jim Schwartz, Jim Harbaugh clash after 49ers win in Detroit
The postgame handshake between Lions coach Jim Schwartz and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh nearly turned into a scuffle between the coaches, after Harbaugh’s team pulled out a 25-19 win in Detroit.
An excited Harbaugh ran across the field with his arms in the air, pumping his fist to celebrate the victory. Harbaugh then emphatically slapped Schwartz’s hand and patted him on the back, with Schwartz taking offense to something during the exchange.
“I went to congratulate Coach Harbaugh and got shoved out of the way. I didn’t expect an obscenity at that point,” Schwartz said.
As Harbaugh ran off the field, Schwartz chased after him, bumping him shoulder-to-shoulder. San Francisco offensive lineman Anthony Davis stepped in to separate the two, then was joined by several players and officials.
Harbaugh again turned to head to the Ford Field locker room, but Schwartz chased him down a second time. The two teams then had a brief skirmish. Finally, order was restored — the Lions went into the locker-room tunnel first, while the 49ers waited on the field.
Harbaugh later admitted that he was overly exuberant when he and Schwartz met near midfield.
“I was really revved up. That wasn’t me, just shook his hand too hard,” Harbaugh said. “That’s on me. Handshake was too hard.”
Davis tweeted after the game that he “saved (Schwartz’s) life at the end” by breaking up the initial skirmish. Davis deleted that tweet, then followed it up with an R-rated rant (which also wound up being deleted). Later, Davis and Detroit’s Cliff Avril exchanged barbs on Twitter.
This isn’t the first time Harbaugh has had an incident occur during a postgame meeting of head coaches. In 2009 as head coach of Stanford, Harbaugh opted to go for two with a 48-21 lead on USC. The Cardinal won the game, 55-21, then USC coach Pete Carroll — now Harbaugh’s division rival in Seattle — angrily questioned Harbaugh after the game, asking, “What’s your deal?” during an icy handshake.
Check out the video of Sunday’s Harbaugh-Schwartz altercation below: