“Lovie Stabbed Him In The Back”

February 7th, 2016
Once fired by Lovie, Ron Rivera coaches the Stinking Panthers in the Super Bowl tonight.

Once fired by Lovie, Ron Rivera coaches the Stinking Panthers in the Super Bowl tonight.

Really, really intriguing piece here on the dynamics between Ron Rivera, the Stinking Panthers coach who guided his team to the Super Bowl, and the man who fired him, Lovie Smith.

And because of that, many Bears greats have nothing to do with Lovie.

Rivera was the Bears’ defensive coordinator the last time the team got to the Super Bowl after the 2006 season. Less than a month later, he was looking for work.

The story, typed by Austin Murphy, suggests Lovie’s stranglehold on the Bears began slipping away from that point. It especially soured Bears fans who revere the 1985 Bears, of which Rivera was a member, like the Second Coming to this day.

And just like in Tampa, where Lovie had so many apologists and acolytes among ex-Bucs with strong voices, Rivera had similar support in the Second City. Most were his former Bears teammates, and in the eyes and ears of Bears fans, opinions from those 1980’s Monsters of the Midway to this very day are Gospel.

Rivera has been so relentlessly gracious, so determined never to exit the high road when discussing his painful, ungainly departure from the city that was his home for 16 years, that it’s easy to forget what a raw deal he got. “He left on not-so-good terms,” confirms an ex-Bear who is a close friend of Rivera’s.

Dan Hampton puts a finer point on it, as is his wont: “Lovie stabbed him in the back,” says the former Bears defensive tackle and Hall of Famer.

It is a really cool story of how Rivera was shoved out the door by Lovie (perhaps by jealousy, perhaps by fear?). It explores who the two did/didn’t get along with, and how Lovie’s popularity and power in Chicago slowly whittled away after giving Rivera the boot.

Today, if he chooses, Lovie will watch that same man coach in his first Super Bowl — while Lovie counts the millions of Team Glazer loot he pocketed in his parachute.

59 Responses to ““Lovie Stabbed Him In The Back””

  1. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    See a theme here? Frazier was making strides with the D the end of 2014. Lovie thinks he knows everything about defense, took over play calling. With all the Love for Lovie from the national talking heads, maybe they need to pay attention to his record and the bad decisions he has made. Lovie will never be a HC again, and it’s all on him. He had all the say in Tampa, and for the most part( minus ‘merica’s QB) it blew up in his face.

  2. darin Says:

    Leggo his ego

  3. tmaxcon Says:

    Considering Lovie burnt through more offensive and defensive coordinators than crap through a goose; I am sure River Boat Ron is not the only one who feels like they were Stabbed in the back. What he did to Marcus Arroryo was criminial the way he set him up to fail. High character people take responsibility not consistently toss people under the bus. People there is a huge difference between being a “nice guy” and a “High Character Guy” let’s not confuse them.

  4. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Look at that…Austin Murphy is a reporter who actually named a source. They do still exist!

  5. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    Frazier is a HORRIBLE all around coach.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Off subject (sorry) but no place else to respond

    I’m surprised that there is no article about Jameis and the Rookie award……I’m sure many would like to comment on that.
    I know Joe and most of us are big supporters of Jameis and think he should have won the award…..
    My take is that it wasn’t only Lovie that was judged by the 4 game end of season loss…..critics probably hung some of that on Jameis too.

  7. Bob in Valrico Says:

    The article points out that Lovie valued loyalty more than coaching ability.
    also rings true with players and all the exes from Chicago. I am happily waving goodby to Lovies cover 2.Go Bucs.

  8. bucs4life86 Says:

    In the end his stubbornness and his will to adapt is what bit him in the @$$. I think the reason the glazers pulled the cord on him was when he sat down for the end of season meeting the glazers asked him what his plans where for next season and he wasn’t gonna change much. Mainly the coaching staff, which was full of family members who didn’t know how to coach any better then us. So I’m glad we have a REAL staff on hand now and I’m excited to see where it takes us. -GO BUC$!!!

  9. biff barker Says:

    Parallels exist between Lovie and Chuckie in that it was said both inherited an awesome roster ready to win. You might make that case for Father Dungy in Indy too, though with an offense.

    I’m not sure Rivera was as fortunate. Carolina wasn’t a very good squad when he showed up there. Even though he’s a stinkin’ Panther, it’s hard not to admire what they’ve done so far this season.

    As for Lovie, meh, no hate, but not much respect either.

  10. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Let me say it again girl ( that’s a line from an old ISLEY BROTHERS HIT SONG) being stabbed in the back happens every day all day in the NFL(no tears here) but when suggested that the Buc GM and Coach K “BACK STABBED” LOVIE it was a far fetched CONSPIRACY!…….don’t be mad at LOVIE all fired coaches get their money!! THE CONSPIRACY RUNS DEEP!!

  11. Couch Fan Says:

    Rivera must of used foul language. We all know how much Lovie hates that.

  12. Bucsblud Says:

    Very unfair article. It’s like Joe is trying to justify Lovie’s firing after first supporting it. I don’t have an opinion on the firing one way or another, but I do like where our staff is right now. However, this article has nothing to do with the Bucs, and should not be covered on a Bucs site.

    Ok. I’m done.

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    Correction….Backstabbers was an O’jays song

  14. The Buc Realist Says:

    I think some of you missed the article altogether!! The point is that the Tampa2 mafia is real!!! And although they are in hiding right now, they will be back with their lies and slanderous talk!!!!!

  15. tmaxcon Says:


    hardly unfair when Lovie had 9 offensive coordinators in his 11 year career including 3 with tamp in 2 years. that’s a pattern that explains why he was not very successful… He also switched defensive coordinators in Tampa and 6 times in chicago. what’s unfair is the families and coaches that were displaced or never found jobs again because of lovie’s ego and stubbornness.

  16. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Talk about stirring the pot again Joe

  17. Jeff Says:

    Lol!!!!!! Lovie is an ass clown and thank (insert your fav diety) that this washed up loser is gone. Also thank Jason Light for having the stones to dump this has been. One last thing, Dungy in the hall of fame? What a joke! He has no coaching tree whatsoever other than Mike Tomlin. He also thinks that Lovie’s system was just fine…..

  18. Bob in Valrico Says:

    No knives needed here,lackluster performance and poor management skills gets you fired everywhere.Lovie’s gametime decision making probably cost us 5 games in his two years.Costly free agent signings hurt the the team.Questionable player evaluations.8-24 record is a far cry from mediocrity even.

  19. Buc1987 Says:

    Now we know why that guy on the radio liked Lovie so much.

    Both scumbags. Birds of a feather.

  20. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @jeff Tony turned the team around. First year 6-10,second 8-8.winning record and playoff appearances followed.
    Lovie didn’t play to win he played not to lose, So did tony,but he was better at it.

  21. Supersam Says:

    Can’t stand Lovie Smith as a coach, I hated the hire from the start. Glad he’s gone, stubborn and hardheaded.

  22. Buc1987 Says:

    Bob in Valrico…on the contrary buddy Dungy went 10-6 in his 2nd season.

  23. Bucx01 Says:

    @Jeff no coaching tree??? Caldwell, Smith, Tomlin, have all been to a super bowl.

    Belicheck one of the greatest coaches of all time does not have a coaching tree. Using your logic he isn’t a HOF coach either.

  24. tmaxcon Says:

    Will you people stop with the Tomlin crap…. Tomlin was with Dungy 1 year and then with Gurden / Kiffin for 4 years. He is not a Dungy guy… You are a diminishing a great coach and his accomplishments by suggesting he’s a dungy guy. Look at the philosophies and the way he calls the games which bares NO resemblance what so ever to the conservative dungy. Goes for 2, runs a 3-4 and has consistently produced decent offenses completely opposite of the dungy philosophy… Dungy’s coaching tree has a combined .421 winning percentage hardly stellar. Give dungy credit all you want for being a nice guy however he is under .500 in the playoffs lifetime and that alone should disqualify him from hall. someone said earlier the “Legend has surpassed the truth” which is the most accurate line that I have read.

  25. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @1987 you are right,my bad

  26. James Walker Says:

    Is Dan “Daniamal” Hampton the source?

  27. Bucx01 Says:

    @tmaxcon I will give Tomlin credit he did come in a rebuild an awful Steelers team who hadnt won a super bowl in almost a year.

    I wonder what this great coaches record is without his HOF QB? Also since his HOF defensive coordinator LEFT really hasn’t been a great defense since then.

    Offense with this same HOF QB wasn’t really that Good until Haley arrived.

    I would like to see Tomlin make the playoffs with Dilfer, Zeier, and a rookie named Shaun King.

  28. Kevin Says:

    @thunderchucky first post what are you smoking man????Leslies defense was horrible as well. They both sucked.

  29. tmaxcon Says:


    Well one could also argue that with arguably the best qb of all time dungy should have had 3 super bowls in indy alone. I am not anti dungy but I simply can not get passed his bad record in the playoffs. I feel the hall is for the best of the best and having a below .500 winning percentage in the playoff disqualifies him.

  30. Buc1987 Says:

    tmaxcon…I hate to jump into this debate, but I’m gonna. I can’t let you have all the fun. lol

    One could also argue that the Pats owned the AFC during Dungy’s tenure with the Colts. Meaning that they beat everyone and anyone. Cheated a more than few times as well. So there’s that excuse too.

  31. Trubucfan22 Says:

    And people try to say that was Lovie’s defense in chicago. Rivera made that defense hum. Lovie only sat back and took credit for it. And then threw him out the door when it was apparent Lovie was useless and his coordinators did all the work. why else do you continually fire good coordinators? Lovie tried to run things his way and when the coordinators thought he was an idiot, he fired them.

  32. tmaxcon Says:


    jump right in sir… well again if Dungy was truly hall of fame material he would have out coached belicheat…. Dungy’s popularity and legend has surpassed his accomplishments which ndog so eloquently pointed out earlier.

  33. Buc1987 Says:

    I’m not saying Dungy belongs in the Hall or not. My personal opinion is that he should have waited much longer. He also did a have brief stint as a player as well as the Vikings DC in which he did very well.

    My opinion is Lynch should have made it before Dungy, but then again none of the Broncos got in, not even Atwater.

  34. tmaxcon Says:

    based on the number of coordinators lovie burnt through it is very clear he is only comfortable working with YES men who pose no threat…

  35. tmaxcon Says:


    I spent some time in Denver area (loveland) and Atwater is revered there. Every year the local media beat up the hall of fame committee for not enshrining him. My point is that puts lynch at a slight disadvantage because instead of having 2 of his former team’s media guys pushing for him it probably was only Kaufman pitching Lynch. My guess is the denver media would have pushed for lynch if and when atwatter is selected but until atwater is in I believe kaufman is on his own.

  36. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Says
    “I’m surprised that there is no article about Jameis and the Rookie award…”

    He DID win the FAN voted rookie of the year award. It may not be as good, but it does increase his chances of another pro bowl next year, since the fans play a big role in the vote.

    I think his performance at the proBowl stood out to fans outside Tampa. The way he was a good sport, getting opponents in head locks, having fun with them. I can honestly say…Jameis Winston was the only great thing about the pro bowl.

  37. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Dungy belongs in the Hall. So does Lynch.

    It really doesn’t matter which got in first. So long as both eventually get in.

  38. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I mean, think about it. Does anyone, after the fact, think and say, “Yeah, such and such got in, but this guy did it first, so he’s better.”

    Not that I’ve heard. Once they are in, they are HoFers. Period. So it doesn’t matter which order.

  39. tmaxcon Says:


    how can you justify his below average (losing) playoff record. be objective. remember being a nice guy or character bs is not a criteria and has no place in the discussion. Dungy left multiple superbowls on the table in Indy and at least 1 in Tampa because he was so bad at offense and his conservative approach to game days. Hall of fame Head coahes need to be well rounded and dungy is not well rounded coach. again be objective and leave all this nice guy crap out of it. again, i am not anti dungy but the hall is reserved for the best of the best and I think there are more deserving coaches.

    Lynch is a different animal. I’d like to see him get in but it’s real tough for safeties and this might have been his best chance with some of the others that will be coming up. mainly ed reed. atwatter should be in hall.

    again, remember popularity and nice guy crap has no place in the hall discussion.

  40. Buc1987 Says:

    It’s okay though. Winston’s OUR rookie of year.

  41. JP4 Says:

    Can’t stand the vitriol some people like to spew when they don’t like the job a coach/player does. Do you actually believe Lovie came in like Snidely Whiplash, on a mission to ruin the Bucs for all their fans? Did Lovie threaten to slit your children’s throat while they slept?

    The man operated very much like his mentor, Dungy. He was probably too devoted to hiring people he knew & people he owed himself. This happens all the time in business. He wasn’t the worst coach in Bucs history (Leeman Bennett/Ray Perkins), but he obviously didn’t show much hope of improving the Bucs nearly as quickly as ownership & fans wanted. So, he’s gone.

    As for Dan Hampton’s ‘stabbed in the back’ comment…he’s been hit in the head a lot, folks, and he appears to be just as devoted to Rivera as Lovie was to Babich, Frazier, etc. This is how ALL businesses are run. The people in charge hire the people they know, and the people they owe.

  42. Buc1987 Says:

    “Do you actually believe Lovie came in like Snidely Whiplash, on a mission to ruin the Bucs for all their fans?”

    No but I don’t think he cared one way or the other.

  43. tmaxcon Says:


    No but I don’t think he cared one way or the other.

    of course he did not care. he was too busy setting up all his family and friends with retirement accounts at the bucs, bucs fans and glazers expense. Not to mention all the washed up has beens that got that one last deal from him again at the bucs expense.

  44. Wesley Says:

    anyone who gets fired can say they were stabbed in the back.

  45. BigHogHaynes Says:

    @ Tampabaybucfan, thanks for your correction but the Isley Brothers song I was referring to was, Make me say it again girl! You see what I did there!!!

  46. Buc1987 Says:

    lol tmax…I used to joke around on here that Lovie was just trying to get revenge on the Glazers for firing his pal Dungy. Only now I think I might have been onto something….

  47. Mike Johnson Says:

    How many of us can kick back with a cold one and watch today’s superbowl while still collecting millions from the Glazers the next 3 years? Hell, I’m worried about car insurance due next month!! I still like Lovie. But I in no way feel sorry for him.

  48. tmaxcon Says:


    You are on yo something. Lovies failures were so blatant it bordered on fraud.

  49. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @Jp4 agree with a lot of what you say. But you don’t fire a successful DC
    that had a stifling defense all season because of one bad play in the playoffs.
    If that was the case Lovie would not have made it to season 2. at 2 and 14 there should have been serious changes in coaching staff and roster.

  50. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Much could be learned the riverboat gambler.I think we will see the difference
    next season. Attacking defense and offense is what I am looking for.Go Bucs

  51. Mike Johnson Says:

    Looks like Denver’s Defense stabbed Riverboat Ron Rivera in the back more than Lovie did. Peyton Manning looked awful. Didn’t matter cause Denver’s Defense was awesome.

  52. BucFan20 Says:

    How many years have we ALL been saying get pressure on the QB. Poor CAM. Ain’t smiling now. Let’s see how much he runs his mouth like he did all week.

  53. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Idiocy is high in this thread…

  54. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @mike Johnson
    yes but attacking defense is the key word here. their two defensive ends have put on a clinic the last two weeks,but it was an effort from all eleven on the
    defense.cam was hurting by the end first half.and kept absorbing hits right till the end.
    Bucs fans have been blessed with good defenses in past but not for a long time especially the last two years.There was no attacking and opposing
    offenses moved up and down the field on us at will.

  55. Trubucfan22 Says:

    I will give dungy this… He had one of the best regular season records in all of football. Just 1 losing season, between 2 teams, as a head coach is a heck of a feat. But im really just not sure how dungy gets in before a lot of players and coaches more deserving imo.

  56. Bob in Valrico Says:

    I was mistaken in calling Ware and Miller DE’s.they are outside linebackers in denvers scheme. Then there was Lawrence Taylor and Broderick Thomas all
    some of the most disruptive players to ever play the game.I think we need to acquire another really good linebacker and take the handcuffs off our linebackers and let them blitz and get to the QB and get him off his game.

  57. Bob in Valrico Says:

    can we have thread on what we want for an early Christmas present on defense. I think it will be a hit.

  58. JP4 Says:

    Buc1987 says: ‘No but I don’t think he cared one way or the other.’

    Buc87 – what happened to you to make you so cynical? Yeah, some players probably do it ‘just for the money’, but even then they want to be successful. Of course Lovie wanted to win games, get to playoffs & Super Bowl with the Bucs, but his methods didn’t prove successful enough. Do you really believe most people don’t care about success? They’re all just in it for the money?

    Bob in Valrico – Changes WERE made to coaching and roster in Lovie’s 2nd year. Frazier was relieved of playcall duties on D & Koetter was broght in as OC. Roster changes: Moore, Melton, Conte & Carter were brought in (all played in similar def styles). But it wasn’t enough, and maybe Lovie was just out of touch with today’s NFL. I don’t argue that, I just take issue with people hating on him, saying he didn’t care, etc., when it makes no sense to have this attitude. I believe he did his best, but his best was not good enough (neither was Dungy’s) & I sincerely look forward to what Koetter will do with his opportunity.

  59. Mike Johnson Says:

    it was mot Offense which won this years Superbowl. It was hard nosed DEFENSE. Just ask Denver and the game’s MVP..Von Miller. You guys can ohh and awwwee all you want about Koetter and Jameis. If we cannot stop people we will lose a lot of games..Guaranteed. DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS.