Can I play for Jim Schwartz?

Eric McErlain Sports Blogger
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While some folks seemed to develop a case of the vapors over Sunday’s on-field confrontation between San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz, I haven’t been able to get enough of it over the past few days. In short, Harbaugh acted like a jerk while delivering an insincere post-game handshake, and Schwartz wasn’t going to tolerate being shown up on national television. Mix it all together, and you’ve got some compelling video and perhaps the start of the NFL’s next great rivalry.

If you think that’s far-fetched, think again. With both teams at 5–1 after six weeks, we could very well see the Lions traveling to San Francisco in the first or second round of the NFL playoffs come next January.

One thing that I know for sure: if I were wearing a Detroit Lions uniform, I’d be totally energized by Sunday’s confrontation. In fact, part of me wants to play for Schwartz right now, and that’s a sentiment that’s gained plenty of traction in the Detroit locker room:

“Coach is fiery,” offensive lineman Rob Sims said Monday. “We love that about him. I think he’s a great leader in regards to that, just staying positive and being emotional and all that kind of stuff ’cause you go with some guys and they kind of just hide. He ain’t afraid to put his chin out there, and we’re not either.”

To tell the truth, part of me is still in shock that the powers that be at the “no fun league” didn’t get out the whooping stick and hit both coaches with heavy fines (I’m sure the National Football League Players Association is asking that question too). Then again, as a confirmed fan of hockey fights, I’m a great proponent of letting players, and coaches for that matter, take things into their own hands and settle things face to face. Here’s hoping the Lions and the 49ers meet again in January.


Eric McErlain blogs at Off Wing Opinion, a Forbes “Best of the Web” winner. In 2006 he wrote a “bloggers bill of rights” to help integrate bloggers into the Washington Capitals’ press box. Eric has also written for Deadspin, NBC Sports and the Sporting News, and covers sports television for The TV News. Follow Eric on Twitter.