The impact of “The Handshake”

Let’s hope the Lions have half of this intensity.

Oh, the intensity of it all. After last year’s loss to the 49ers at Ford Field, Jim Schwartz took the loss like any other coach would. But for the other coach, Jim Harbaugh, to not even acknowledge his opponent and to clap Schwartz on the back, was enough for the Lions coach to snap. A near brawl broke out on the field as pushing and shoving ensued between both teams and many players had to hold Schwartz back from Harbaugh. It was a sign of toughness and another step in the right direction that this Lions franchise needed. It was proof that the Lions were not to trifled with, even after a game had concluded.

Fast forward to this week, almost a year after the events happened, and the media is still talking about this. When the Lions take the field in San Francisco on Sunday, it will be the start of a new rivalry in the NFC. The Lions are fighting for a playoff spot this season as the Bears have improved and the Packers are annually in first place in the NFC North. The 49ers flourished under Harbaugh and progressed into a tough, gritty playoff team. This is the perfect match up for each team and the key to the game will be how Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense can score against the bruising defense of San Francisco.

As much as I want Detroit to win, I think this is part of the learning curve of being a new contender in the NFL. Every team has to take their lumps on the way up and I think the Lions’ secondary will suffer in trying to keep up with Michael Crabtree and Randy Moss. Overall, it won’t be a blow out but the Lions will come up short.


San Francisco 49ers- 24

Detroit Lions -20

Don’t forget! These teams are vying for playoff spots down the road. I have a feeling if the Lions lose now, they won’t lose as easily in a possible NFC Championship Game appearance to these same 49ers.


About Joe Barroso

Joe Barroso is the creator and editor of the Sporting Mitten blog as well as a contributor for the Farm Club blog. He began to pursue a career in journalism in 2010 while in high school. He created, produced, and wrote for "Irish Pride Sports Show" a weekly, sports feature show for Father Gabriel Richard High School in Ann Arbor, MI. He grew up in southeastern Michigan playing a variety of sports but was drawn to the game of baseball. Even with his short-lived playing career in high school gone, he still decided to pursue a career reporting happenings in baseball. You can reach him at
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