Just as Moses received the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai, former Bears Coach Mike Ditka received a new set of commandments for today’s athlete.
A reading from the First Letter of Ditka to Da Superfans.
Da Coach came down from Mount Prospect with two stone tablets and declared, “Gang, Papa Bear has called me from on high to give you these Commandments for today’s athlete. Woe unto him who does not follow them!”
I. Thou shall not put thyself above the game.
The sport got you to where you are today. Don’t ever forget it. Play the game with the childlike enthusiasm and passion that you did when you realized this is what you want to do when you grow up. Respect the sport and those that came before you. No one is bigger than the game.
II. Thou shall not cheat
An entire era of baseball is marred by the dark shadow cast by steroids. The Patriots near-perfect 2007 season always will have Spygate associated with it (along with that loss to the Giants when it counted the most). Forget the old saying, “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying!”
III. Respect thy enemy.
When you score a touchdown, hand the ball to the ref. If you hit a home run, jog around the bases and don’t show up the pitcher. You don’t need to act like you won the Super Bowl every time you make a tackle, especially when your team is losing. Act like you’ve been there before and respect your opponent. Lose as graciously as you win, LeBron.
IV. I am the Lord thy God. Thou shall not “Make it Rain.”
The Pacman Jones Commandment. If you have a rap sheet a mile long, it’s probably not a great idea to go to a strip club and “make it rain” to essentially incite a stripper riot. Everyone deserves a second chance, but not a third, fourth or fifth chance.
V. Thou shall honor thy fans.
The people who buy the products you endorse, fork over their hard earned cash to see you play and buy your jersey paid for that Mercedes and mansion. Try to keep that in mind when they ask for an autograph.
VI. Thou shall not kill.
Same as the real Commandment. And that goes for animals too, Mr. Vick!
VII. Thou shall keep it in thy pants.
The Shawn Kemp Commandment. An untidy personal life can lead to problems in the locker room and on the field. If you are foolish enough to have Baby Mama’s across the country, be man enough to take proper care of them. We don’t want to see you on an episode of Maury!
VIII. Thou shall issue sincere apologies.
Everyone is bound to mess up. When you do, offer a sincere apology. The phrase “If what I did/said offended you…” cannot be used. If you are apologizing, you already offended someone, so no need to qualify it. Just say, “I’m sorry!” Be sincere and move on.
IX. Thou shall not covet thy teammates’ contract.
If your teammate earns a big payday, good for him. Go out and earn your contract. Don’t take plays off. Play hard each and every play. Don’t forget, you signed on the dotted line. Live up to and honor your word. Same goes for college coaches.
X. Thou shall not break the law.
This is the most basic and fundamental of all commandments in case any of the other nine didn’t register. Don’t carry a concealed weapon and even more foolishly shoot yourself with it in a club. Don’t have a cache of loaded weapons. Don’t drink and drive – and that includes a boat. You make big $$’s – hire a limo or a driver. Don’t beat your wife or girlfriend. Follow the laws that everyone else is expected to obey.
Da Word of Da Coach.
Thanks be to Papa.
What commandments did I forget? Post your commandments in the Comments, so in the Mel Brooks version of this post, there were 15, (oops) no 10 – Ten Commandments.
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