Inside the Panthers

What Panthers coach, huge Cubs fan Ron Rivera did during Game 7 might surprise you

Perhaps a wake-up call was in order Wednesday night as Carolina Panthers head coach and Cubs fan Ron Rivera fell asleep during the team’s Game 7 World Series win.
Perhaps a wake-up call was in order Wednesday night as Carolina Panthers head coach and Cubs fan Ron Rivera fell asleep during the team’s Game 7 World Series win. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera is a very vocal fan of the Chicago Cubs.

Yes, his “W” flag was in his front yard on Wednesday night, when the Cubs broke the 108-year drought and brought a world championship to the North Side.

But according to his wife’s Twitter account, Rivera slept through it.

“Every time I walked out of the room, somebody would hit a home run,” he explained on Thursday. “Every time I’d leave, there would be a home run, and every time I’d come in something would happen. It was my fault.”

He said he was only allowed back into the room when his wife, Stephanie, said he could come in, so he only saw “bits and pieces” of Game 7.

“It’s awesome. I was very fortunate to spend 17 years out there, my daughter was born there. ... It was just really cool; [I’m] very happy for the city.”

Olsen: “As good as it gets”

Tight end Greg Olsen, who was drafted by the Bears in 2007, spent five years in Chicago. Watching the Cubs win, he recalled his experience throwing out a first pitch and singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during a seventh-inning stretch.

Olsen said the Game 7 battle between the Indians and the Cubs, which went into extra innings and experienced a rain delay, summed up sports in a nutshell.

“People living and dying every play,” he said. “People living and dying every pitch, every hit, every manager’s decision. ... It’s as good as it gets, right there. It was exciting. I like the Cubs, I’m happy they won. I didn’t have a real interest in who won, but I was just fascinated. It was sports at its highest level.”

Jourdan Rodrigue: 704-358-5071, @jourdanrodrigue

  Comments