It’s another notable early season matchup for the Niners, the home opener at Candlestick vs. the Detroit Lions. An up-and-coming quarterback in Matthew Stafford and an all-star receiver in Calvin Johnson facing the vaunted Niner defense that only allowed the Packers 45 rushing yards a week ago. It’s another chance to see how Alex Smith is continuing to grow with the new weapons on the offense. It’s another opportunity to see if Randy Moss still has what it takes to stretch the field. It’s also another post-game handshake for Jim Schwartz and Jim Harbaugh.
One of the games with the most build up last year was when the Niners went to Ford Field, every bit the underdog, in week 6. The Niners stunned the Lions with a comeback win, and an over enthusiastic Harbaugh gave Schwartz a strong handshake and slap on the back that almost led to a brawl. Security and players separated the coaches who also exchanged some heated words while running off the field. Both coaches emphatically deny that this is even remotely an issue, but we all know that there is no love lost between the two of them.
Harbaugh’s post-game enthusiasm hasn’t only affected coach Schwartz. Pete Carroll isn’t a fan either. Back when Carroll was still the head coach at USC and Harbaugh his peer at Stanford (back when I wasn’t yet a Harbaugh convert), there was the “what’s your deal” game where both coaches participated in a brief, emotionally charged post-game “chat.”
Week 2 promises to be another exciting chess match between the two Jims. One thing is certain, NFL fans across the country will be waiting anxiously to see the two of them meet again, on the field, after the conclusion of the game.