SANTA CLARA -- Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh reached back into American history to offer his spin on Sunday's, ahem, "gripping" rematch between brother Jim Harbaugh's 49ers and Jim Schwartz's Detroit Lions.
"I don't think there's been so much attention paid to a handshake since Grant and Lee shook hands at Appomattox," John Harbaugh told the Baltimore Sun on Tuesday.
The Grant-Lee handshake came on Palm Sunday 1865, when Gen. Ulysses S. Grant met at the Appomattox court house and set terms on Gen. Robert E. Lee's surrender. It ranks No. 1 among History.com's top-eight historic handshakes. Missing the cut was the Bill Belichick-Eric Mangini handshakes after their encounters after New England Patriots-New York Jets battles.
Jim Harbaugh celebrated the 49ers' comeback win last season at Detroit by giving Schwartz an overly aggressive handshake and slap on the back. Schwartz took exception to Harbaugh's euphoria and a confrontation ensued as they rushed to their respective locker rooms. Team security, players and 49ers PR chief Bob Lange had to separate the coaches from further, um, handshakes.
And now, back to John Harbaugh, who joined his brother and their families last year at Civil War battlefield Gettysburg to film a segment for HBO's "Real Sports."
For clarification as to which role his brother played in the off-Broadway recreation of the Grant-Lee handshake, John Harbaugh laughed and told