Sunday, December 2, 2012
Tomlin-Harbaugh handshake weird
By Jamison Hensley
In one of the most bitter rivalries in sports, now it seems like the head coaches can't get along.
Shortly after Shaun Suisham's field goal won the game for Pittsburgh, the Ravens' John Harbaugh calmly walked up to the Steelers' Mike Tomlin at midfield and told him, "Congratulations." Looking like he was in a hurry, Tomlin walked past Harbaugh, grabbed his hand briefly and continued on his way without breaking stride.
Looking like he was being brushed off, Harbaugh never let go of the handshake and pulled Tomlin back, saying, "Hey, hey, hey, I said congratulations." It then sounded like Tomlin responded, "Thank you, good job (or good talk)."
The coaches exchanged a tense stare before going their separate ways. Harbaugh looked stunned by what happened and glanced back at Tomlin leaving the field a couple of times.
Some will say Tomlin acted like a sore winner because he didn't initially make eye contact. Others will say Harbaugh was wrong to expect anything more than a quick handshake.
My take: this is overblown nonsense. It's not like the postgame tussle between the 49ers' Jim Harbaugh and the Lions' Jim Schwartz last season. In the Ravens-Steelers rivalry, I've seen a Ravens player (James Trapp) stomp on a Steeler with his cleats. I heard about the Steelers' Joey Porter going to the Ravens' bus after a game to start a fight.
This is a tense and physical rivalry. An awkward handshake wouldn't rank in the top 50 controversial moments between these two teams.