Monday, October 17, 2011

10/17 (Harbaugh vs. Schwartz) Quickie

NFL Week 6: The story, of course, is the Harbaugh-Schwartz handshake smackdown after the 49ers shocked the Lions in Detroit.

Here's where I net out
: Jim Harbaugh WAS over-enthusiastic, and he sure as hell earned the right to be. I don't buy that there's a handshake "protocol" -- Jim Schwartz (no stranger to what some might call "showing up" opposing teams and coaches from his sidelines) was just sore that he lost; he is entirely entitled to be a bit pissy. But in that scenario, Schwartz has got to keep his cool and not make it into a bigger deal.

If we're in the fault-assignment business, I'd give more -- way more, actually -- to Schwartz than Harbaugh. But the larger point is this: Is there even a problem here? Oh, the prudes will have a field day -- either griping about Harbaugh's enthusiasm or Schwartz's response. The fact is that it's amazing that both coaches reacted the way they did. It's human and it's endearing.

Answers to questions you didn't ask:
*Did the Eagles turn around their season?
*Is it possible the Vikings are even worse than the Colts?
*What will be the dominant NFL story of the week?
Easy: Tim Tebow.

Cardinals win the NL pennant
: The most improbable baseball pennant-winner of all time? A case could be made for the 2008 Rays, sheerly on economics, but circumstantially, these Cards are right up there. What an easy team to root for in the World Series against Texas.

BCS: As expected, it's LSU-Alabama at 1-2 -- for now. They'll play each other and one will seemingly secure a spot in the national-title game. Interestingly, Oklahoma-Oklahoma State could be a play-in game, too.

There's a lot of talk today about the logjam of quality unbeatens outside of that four, including Wisconsin, Stanford and Boise State. First, let's let the season play itself out; more often than not, these things take care of themselves in unpredictable ways.

But I can't put to fine a point on it: The quickest path to imploding the BCS isn't 4 or 5 unbeaten teams. It's a 1-loss SEC champ being left out of the national title game.

RIP Dan Wheldon: As a dad of two young kids, I couldn't stop thinking about Wheldon last night. What a sad story. And good man.

-- D.S.

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