The difference was Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy was in the stands of that high school football game to support his son, a player for Lake Forest High School.
With Nagy squarely on the hot seat and fan's frustration creeping into his personal life, the coach did his part to absolve the students of any further scrutiny.
"When I'm in the role, you have to be able to understand where people are coming from and how they react or don't react," Nagy said. "I was there to watch my son play a football game. I was there to be a dad."
Nagy said he didn't hear the chants because he was focused on his son playing. He avoided a direct question about whether it crossed a line, noting high school students chant things at every school.
The coach also noted that some youth football players approached him for pictures and were extremely polite.
"I'll tell you this, every one of those kids said please and thank you. And I've been to a lot of baseball games over the summer, and there's not a lot of that going on," Nagy said. "So I can say with the one thing they can be proud of is they got young kids right now that have respect."
Officials at Cary-Grove High School released a statement on Tuesday, condemning “Fire Nagy” chants directed at the Bears head coach and his son that rose from the crowd.
“I want to assure our community that the chant was not acceptable nor appropriate and was immediately addressed by administration at the game,” said Dr. Neil Lesinski, Cary-Grove’s principal, in a statement. “We also felt it was important to meet with our student superfans that lead our chants and cheers to talk about what happened and give them an opportunity to reflect and correct their actions.”
The school also apologized to Nagy and his son, though not by name.
The back drop for all this is Nagy's hot seat, and specifically how it's progressively getting hotter with each poor performance from the team. On Monday, a report suggested Nagy had lost the locker room.
On Tuesday, a report sent shockwaves throughout the city saying the Bears told Nagy he would be fired following the Bears’ Thanksgiving game against the Lions. Nagy refuted that report, calling it "inaccurate."