Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith waits to find out his fate. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Whoever's getting the axe today at Halas Hall, the media won't be there to witness it: they've been told to exit the premises by 1 p.m.
The last time that happened: one frigid day in 1993 at old Halas Hall in Lake Forest, when the Bears fired Mike Ditka. "Da Coach" was so beloved by Bear fans, Michael McCaskey hired private security to protect his family and his home.
But today promises to be much more subdued.
For one, staff at Halas Hall are going about their day as normal.
"It's status quo," said one assistant coach. "We are going about our business."
When asked if the offensive coaches on the hottest of hot seats had been told anything, the coach said "nothing at all. But that's the nature of the beast.
On this day after the Bears finish their 3rd straight season without a playoff appearance, everyone's wondering who will get the axe.
Lovie Smith, who took the team back to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1985? Offensive coordinator Ron Turner, who led Jay Cutler to offensive records before starting the season in offensive disaster?
If they are making major decisions in the front office to fire Lovie Smith, he hasn't been told as yet.
"Lovie talked to us like we expect everything to be the same next year, what our goals need to be in 2010 and what we need to do in the off season to get there," Linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer said Monday morning.
"I know that across the locker room... that we think he should be here. I'm under the impression that he will be... and that's the way he talked to us today."
Lovie Smith said as much after the Bears win Sunday in Detroit.
"Until someone tells me otherwise after a game I normally come to work to try to improve our ballclub".
And he did. Now, how long will he stay?