You can’t script it better than this. One year after Pete Carroll left USC for the Seattle Seahawks, rival head coach Jim Harbaugh made the jump to the NFC West, as well, joining the San Francisco 49ers on Friday. Harbaugh’s move reignites a fun little rivalry that ended in the Pac-10 with a now-famous phrase. Jim Harbaugh, what’s your deal?
In Pete Carroll’s last game against the Stanford Cardinal, Harbaugh kept his foot on the floor despite a lopsided score. After the Cardinal went for two late in a 55-21 drubbing, the two head coaches met at the 50-yard line for the customary handshake. Carroll, speaking to Harbaugh, asked him “what’s your deal?” The phrase has forever linked the two, becoming a long-running joke within the Pac-10.
With the two coaches back in the same league, at football’s highest level, the rivalry takes a new turn. The Niners and Seahawks meet twice a year now, giving the two head coaches plenty of chances to put on a show. Will they each try to step on each other’s throats? Will there be drama following each game? As a Seahawks fan, I can’t wait to see this.
On a serious side, Harbaugh’s hiring makes the Niners instantly better. Right now, there’s no better option than Harbaugh. The NFC West just got a whole lot more interesting.