Jim Harbaugh's "too-hard handshake" and obscenity irk Detroit coach Jim Schwartz
The Detroit Lions finally lost a game. Then their coach briefly lost his cool, after a postgame handshake turned into a bizarre skirmish...
DETROIT — The Detroit Lions finally lost a game.
Then their coach briefly lost his cool, after a postgame handshake turned into a bizarre skirmish on the field after the Lions' 25-19 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at Ford Field.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz took issue with an over-exuberant Jim Harbaugh, who threw his fists in the air near midfield and then bounded over to give Schwartz and hard handshake and slap on the back before jogging away after the game. Schwartz immediately turned and directed a comment toward Harbaugh, whose reply apparently set the Lions' coach off.
Schwartz then went charging after Harbaugh and had to be restrained by Lions' security personnel before being escorted up the tunnel to the locker room. Players from both teams then converged near the tunnel, pushing and shoving before more security staff eventually restored order.
The NFL said it would review the incident.
Afterward, Schwartz, whose team fell to 5-1 with the loss, offered no apology for his behavior.
"I went to congratulate coach Harbaugh and got shoved out of the way," he said. "And then I didn't expect an obscenity at that point. So it was a surprise to me at the end of the game."
Later, he added, "I went to shake an opponent's coach's hand and obviously you win a game like that you're excited and things like that. But there's a protocol that goes with this league."
Harbaugh wasn't apologizing, either, though he did offer an explanation.
"It was a very emotional game," he said. "I was just really revved up. I shook his hand too hard, kind of a slap-grab handshake and that was on me, just a little too hard. And then there was some chest-bumping, I think. ... I don't know. But as I say, that was on me, the too-hard handshake."
Asked if he apologized when Schwartz came after him, Harbaugh replied, "I don't think I apologized, I just said that I shook his hand too hard. ... The game fires me up. I do get emotional. It fires me up. If that offends you or anybody else, so be it."
• Every facet of the silver and black came together one last time to honor Raider Nation's late king, Al Davis. Fans decked out in spikes, war paint and bandannas. Former players and coaches gathered in suits and sweats. Rappers Ice Cube and MC Hammer stood along the sideline in traditional Raiders garb. All stood united at the Oakland Coliseum again in a 24-17 win over the Cleveland Browns to pay tribute to the owner with a simple two-letter message supplanted on the Raiders shield, spreading across helmets, shirts, posters, pins and programs: "AL."
• New Orleans coach Sean Payton will have surgery Monday after tearing the MCL and fracturing the tibia in his left leg after a collision on the sideline of New Orleans' 26-20 loss to Tampa Bay.
The Seattle Times photographs
Purchase The Seattle Times images
Dive into history in Now & Then