The big media story following the Detroit Lions first 2011 loss to the San Francisco 49ers was not how the game was lost, not that the Lions blew a fourth quarter lead, but a post game flare up between Lions Head Coach Jim Schwartz and 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh.
The two came together and midfield shook hands and Harbaugh appeared to shove Schwartz in the back. It is debatable if Harbaugh was trying to push Schwartz out of the way or in his excitement gave Schwartz an over the top love tap on the back., Either way Schwartz took great exception to the move and what followed was a pretty ugly confrontation between that two that eventually grew to involve players and other team personnel from both sides. Of course we have to remember that this is not the first time Harbaugh has had issues with a post game hand shake.
It is easy to understand each coach’s fired up attitude following this game. For Harbaugh, a rookie NFL head coach, his team is 5-1 for the first time since 1998. For Schwartz, a man charged with changing a culture of losing in Detroit, he has to show his team that losing will not be tolerated or accepted anymore.
In the end, it seems that Detroit News writer John Niyo said it best
I sure don’t recall it looking like this when the Lions used to lose games with great regularity here. And that a win in Detroit was cause for excessive celebration from an opponent is probably another sign of progress for the Lions.