Editor's Note: This story appears in the Oct. 23 edition of ESPN The Magazine. Click here to subscribe to the magazine.
Ron Rivera has yet to have a paper airplane thrown at his head, but he feels
it is coming. Rivera is one of the NFL's more respected
defensive coordinators -- the man did win a Super Bowl ring with the 1985
Bears -- yet he knows that, in Halas Hall, no one is safe from Brian Urlacher
and his teammates.
Meeting rooms, especially, can be treacherous. A coach will think everything
is going smoothly, the endless chatter and the boasting and hooting and
hollering having finally come to an end, and then THUMP. The coach doesn't
need to turn from the whiteboard to know that someone's playbook has been
pushed off his desk and onto the floor, courtesy of the teammate sitting next to him. Then THUMP. There goes another