Monday, October 17, 2011

Never Argue With A Fool, Onlookers May Not Be Able To Tell The Difference.

"Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference." ~Author unknown, attributed to Mark Twain

Jim Schwartz certainly in my view acted like a fool this past Sunday at the end of the San Francisco 49er - Detroit Lion football game.  In my heart of hearts I do not believe Jim Harbaugh, coach of the San Francisco 49ers was intentionally trying to be mean spirited when he shook Jim Schwartz's hand and tapped him on the back. I believe he was excited by his team's victory and was caught up in the momentum built by his running excitedly across the field. 

I keep hearing this notion of how coaches have this code of respect when shaking hands at the end of the game and I think that is a bunch of crap and a sorry attempt to excuse Jim Shwartz's behavior. After looking at the clip numerous times, I do not believe Coach Harbaugh was  trying to be disrespectful. He really was no different than a player in the end zone after a touch down or the quarterback pumping his fist when he has thrown a touchdown pass.  Coach Harbaugh was ecstatic over winning a  hard fought battle.  Take a look at Harbaugh's face when he realizes that Schwartz is chasing him.  He didn't even realize Schwartz was behind him, letting you know that he was not thinking about Schwartz. He ran past him, shook his hand, slapped him on the back and kept going not giving it another thought until..................  You could see by Harbaugh's reaction and body language that he was pretty much saying "What are you talking about?"  What's the big deal?"  It is at this point where the above quote attributed to Mark Twain comes into play.  "Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference."  Had I been Jim Harbaugh, I would not have argued with Jim Schwartz. I would not have given onlookers the opportunity to wonder who the fool was; they would have clearly known that it was Jim Schwartz. If you look at the replay, you will see how Jim Schwartz looked like a fool running down that field after Jim Harbaugh.  He really needed to take Miller Lite Beer's tag line of "Man Up" and let it go.  His response was truly uncalled for. Even if Schwartz thought Harbaugh's response was inappropriate, he should have been the bigger man. Jim Schwartz was the only person in that stadium that noticed the gesture until he brought the attention of the world to it.

A few weeks ago St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo was so upset with the 37-7 beating his team received from the Baltimore Ravens, that he told his wife they are never again speaking to Baltimore coach John Harbaugh (Something about those Harbaughs).  What is going on?  Coaches gone wild? Guys, it's just a game. You'll live (hopefully). There are so many more serious issues going on in the world beyond the win or loss of a football game. You are on display for all to see at the professional level.. What kind of example are you setting for the players and coaches in the various levels below you beginning with the Pee-Wee leagues?  According to Webster's Dictionary a "coach" is one who instructs or trains. The question this critical thinker has is what are you instructing or training? (and I am not talking about the fundamentals or strategies of a football game.) Something to critically think about. As always, I welcome your commentary.

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