Who could forget the controversial 2011 handshake immediately following the game between 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and Lions head coach Jim Schwarts? It turns out both coaches have when asked about it as we wait in anticipation for this Sunday’s matchup between the unbeaten San Fransisco and Detroit teams.
“Our approach with the mini controversies are really to give them the attention that they deserve, which isn’t much,” said Harbaugh Monday. “People who will choose to use that to promote this game, or any other game, I think are really missing the point. The game is just so much bigger. As a rule of thumb, I have too much respect for the men who play the game to give it anything more than it deserves.”
For those who did miss it, last October the 4-1 49ers had a comeback win against the 5-1 Lions at Ford Field. After the game ended, the two coaches rushed to the field to exchange handshakes. Harbaugh was to say the least, pumped on his team’s victory. The adrenaline was then transferred into an aggressive handshake, which Schwarts didn’t take too kindly to, especially immediately following a loss.
Schwarts commented Monday that he and Harbaugh have seen each other several times since the shake heard round the world, and that the two have dismissed the incident.
“That’s long in the past,” Schwarts said. “That just seems so long ago that that occurred. When two teams take the field, that’s not going to be on one player’s mind.”
Neither coach really wanted to comment too much on the topic. They each have their focus on the task at hand. One of these two NFC teams will have to suffer their first loss of the year as they take the primetime spotlight Sunday.