We had so much fun doing our Countdown to Kickoff series last season that we decided to do it again. In case you’re new to the series, we’ll do a roster preview as we count down the days until the Chicago Bears September 7th season opener against the Buffalo Bills.
89 more days, ladies and gentleman, until Bears football season and a historical #89 is our topic. It it is an absolute honor to write about one of the most famous, and most celebrated Chicago Bears of all time, Mike Ditka.
My wife, Beth Napier, gave me a suggestion that the entirety of my article should be “Ditka is God.” I just had to give you guys more than that for a legend. I’m sure my editor would think so as well.
Da Coach. Iron Mike. This one I had never heard before, The Hammer.
Why is he so special? Is it because he coached the best football team of all time, 1985 Chicago Bears? Yes. ’72 Dolphins my ass.
Is it because he brought the Lombardi trophy to Chicago as a result of our one and only Super Bowl win. I think so.
Is it because he forever changed the way the tight end position was played and was the first tight end elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Definitely.
He is also my kid’s Grandpa, (see tip #4, Chicago Bears Parent Tips.)
Not really his Grandpa, but he will forever be embraced by the city of Chicago, as The Coach. The poster child for the world, even, as the example of America’s pursuit of happiness and kicking butt on the football field. I toured Korea in 1988 and they didn’t know anything about Shula or Walsh, Parcells or Belichick. They knew Ditka.
Mike Ditka is also one of the most manly names ever, besides Dick Butkus. The cigar completes the package. I just couldn’t see him going into Starbucks and ordering a decaf skim latte. He embodies the concept of rubbing some dirt on an injury, and going back in. I hear he makes a pretty good steak too.
Tough as nails, yet maintains a sense of humor.
He’s no “Juice-box-boy.”
He also always picks the Bears to win on Monday Night Countdown on ESPN.
Mostly, we love him because he’s ours to love.